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“tHis is a wicked movie. you will love it.” - AintitCoolNews

“Horror fans sHould be looking forward to tHis one.” - Chris Bumbray, JoBlo’s Movie Emporium

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ABORT Magazine Canada’s Counter Culture ISSUE 14 Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: E.S. Day Managing Editors: Grimm Culhane, Dave “Corvid” McCallum, Arceon, Photo Editor: Scott Alexander Senior Art Director/Layout: Daniel Bacharach Art Directors/Layout: Nick Tchir and Dave Graham Staff Writers: Dave “Corvid” McCallum, Grimm Culhane, Arceon (Europe), Alxs Ness, Kassandra Guagliardi, Joel Parent, John Norby (UK), E.S. Day, Nigel Mojica, Taylor Ell, Sean Cowie, A.W. Reid, Brandon Siemens Staff Photographers: Scott Alexander, Chris Webber, Jamie Sands, Ajani Charles (Toronto) Sarah Hamilton, Grimm Culhane, Arceon (Europe), Taylor Ell, Sean Cowie, Sylvia McFadden Web Design/Graphics: John Allan ( Contributors: Jonathan Parsons, Mark Boucher, Daniel Bacharach, Eva Vulgar, Justin Critch, Shaun Roberts Transcribing: Alxs Ness, Jonathan Parsons, Dave McCallum, Nigel Mojica, Dave McCallum, Scott Alexander, Alexandria Lee Cover Artwork by Justin Critch This cover is available as a print ABORT Logo by Ara Shimoon ABORT MAGAZINE is owned and operated by: Abort Media Publishing Corporation (AMP Corp.) 1140 Comox St. Ste 203 Vancouver, BC Canada, V6E 1K5 778.330.7575 Fuck The Fax General Info:

Subscriptions/E-Newsletter (we DO NOT give out your e-mail address) CD’s, DVD’s, Books, Art, Murals, Cash, Drugs, Garter Belts, Guns, Fur Coats, Trans-fatty/deep-fried foods and Cigarettes to be considered for review: To submit words, photos, art, video and filth: (NOTE: ABORT Magazine/ABORT TV and its copyright holders, accept no responsibility for and will not necessarily respond to unsolicited art, manuscripts or any form of media Including photo, video, audio and film footage. Such material will not be returned unless accompanied by a SASE) Tales From The Eastside™ contains pictures of people who have given consent and/or been compensated by ABORT™ Magazine, AbortCast™, ABORT TV ™ and AMP Corp for use of their likeness and comments. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Abort Media Publishing Corporation (AMP Corp.)


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Table of Contents Headphonica/DENIED! 8 Letter From the dead 10 Motorhead – The ABORT Interview 12 Rammstein 18 ENKORE: M.O.P 24 The Cutting Edge: Calgary Tattoo Festival 29 The Cutting Edge: Eric Weiss 35 21 and Under With...Frank Kozik 38 ABORTIST: Rank & File 42 ENKORE: Storm Thorgerson 52 MADE IN CANADA: Sacrifice 56 The Rickshaw: Where a Music Scene Isn’t Dying 58 Brother Ali – The ABORT Interview 60 Tales from the Eastside 64 Behind the Boards: Devin Townsend 68 Reviews - Film, Book, DVD, CD. Live 73 21 and Under with...The Pixies 106 The Year in Revolt (Staff Picks of 2009) 110 The Year in Revolt: Shooting Gallery Best of 2009 116 DJ Z-Trip 126 The Company Band’s Neil Fallon-130 Paint the Town Dead 133 Skinny Puppy Interview 134 Shooting Gallery: Emilie Autumn by Scott Alexander 137 Dir En Grey 140

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Our Office playlist based on the staff’s Blood, Sweat and fears • You Lie...And Yo Breath Stank – Infectious Grooves (Epic) • Correction We Fix - Mad Cobra & Merciless (Greensleeves) • Black Vatican – Throwdown (E1) • Skullfucker (Synnack Remix) - Terrorfakt (Metropolis) • Money, Money – Dizzee Rascal (Dirtee Stank) • Black Sun - Darkest Hour (Victory) • My Favorite Ladies – DOOM (Gold Dust) • Dismal Dream – Suffocation (Nuclear Blast) • March of The Skeltons – White Wizzard (Earache) • Let the Rhythm Hit ‘em - DJ Z-Trip feat. Rakim and Chevelle (Decon Inc.) for the entire year of Headphonica charts go to and click on "The Year in Revolt 2009"

Our regular list of interview requests and the people who told us TO GO FUCK OURSELVES The goons of greed have once again shone their brightly coloured pouty lips in ABORT’s DENIED! section as Gene & Co. have decided that even though they cannot get people to steal their latest train wreck ‘Sonic Boom’ from a torrent site, they have flogged the dead touring horse once again to make their expensive ends meet. With only 2 original members in this line-up, the gents have decided it would be best to play it safe and have ex-Badlands drummer Eric Singer and ex-Black n’ Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer don the Peter and Aces make-up and hope nobody noticed. We will did. We also noticed how bad the album is. We also noticed how shady Gene has become by trying to tap into the Canadian market via his imprint that got a P&D deal via UMG Canada, we also notice how bad his first singing Down with Webster is, We also noticed how ridiculous it is to hear that after all the bad press they have been getting in regards to the new album, that ABORT Magazine once again was not worthy of 5 min with Paul even to discuss his horrible artwork yes we finally would have conformed and “KISS’ed their asses. But it was not to be, with our circulation (digitally under 100,000) we did not even make the mighty shortlist of contenders to be given a chance to talk about how bad their new album.was We here at ABORT Mag are pretty sure between the conventions, the Frank’s Energy Drink, those fucking ugly handbags and Gene’s new line of Toupees to their keep bank accounts thick, it would have been the true original fans (our readers) that would have keep the band “Hotter than Hell” instead of them hiding their heads in shame for putting out “The Elder Pt 2.”

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print is dead rant? Forget it. Extending my middle finger to all my fellow editors from local magazines, blogs, papers and weeklies? Nope. Wondering why even after the rash of huge publications suspending their print editions or huge media warmongers like Time Inc. turning into a 2.0 model still has Canadians (Vancouverites in particular) asking why we are not in print? Couldn’t care a less. It was almost 3 and ½ years ago, around this time that ABORT Magazine had become the “little mag that could” boasting a unheard of readership with out any form of promotion, marketing or ad revenue and doing it all paper-free. With a audience that found us overseas and in the eastern USA, we could not have been more ecstatic. Back then only the reader and artist benefited from the issue with an infinite shelf life that never saw the trash/recycle bin and we found ourselves in the middle of a industry turning itself upside-down amidst the public’s confusion in regards to what is the mainstream medium for reading its news, views, reviews and opinion. Papercuts and ink have turned in to Kindled/hand-held reading devices. Younger readers, who crave photos and school locker-door paste-ups, simply click and print what they want. Minus the $8.95 fee, the internet has certainly changed the focus on how we read and ABORT magazine had seen this coming and quickly adapted without hesitation to a new breed of publishing and a more simple form of delivery. Even as we speak, the new “Digital Magazine” of an approaching 2010, is now bogged down with embedded media, streaming ads for useless product that has nothing to do with the content (imagine a KIA car ad streaming for 30 seconds while you wait to read a G.G. Allin Timeline) and annoying sign–ups, license agreements and monitored reading habits. This is simply put the dawn of a new age...3 years late. We will continue to run this publication with the most minimal amounts, not sign up simply easy to obtain click –download print share and enjoy.

Letter from The dEaD

So to the rest of Vancouver, our “non-readers” who apparently read us, and our fellow countryman I say, on behalf of myself and (some of) the staff… fuck you. It has never been about the money it has been about speaking the truth, letting musicians; artists and actors speak their mind and more importantly all of the above including ourselves having some form of integrity and self-respect. If you have gotten this far by downloading this issue and are reading this editorial right now, then we have won the battle, but there awaits another a battle, one that has only just begun. Repent or represent. By E.S. Day Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

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Motorhead’s Lemmy:

Last of The Rock & Roll Motherfuckers Beyond legendary and louder than everything else, the UK “Knights of The Loud Table” Motörhead; have driven a stake into the heart of modern rock and sucked its blood dry. What else can be said about its charismatic frontman and bass player Lemmy Kilmister, who shits Rock & Roll and refuses to wipe. Heralded by many & imitated by none, this one of a kind Heavy Metal mercenary with the world’s most famous mutton chops, took the time to chat with ABORT Magazine’s E.S. Day over a buffet of Jack Daniels and Marlboro reds. Just what the doctor ordered. E.S Day: E.S. Day here for ABORT Magazine we are sitting here with the one and only, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead how are you sir? Lemmy Kilmister: Hello boys and


The boys are currently on tour, well… still supporting Motorizer, your 24th fucking album! Jesus Christ – no rest for the wicked!. Lemmy: Well the wicked never rest for


First off, new album: when are we looking at [a new one] and how far off? Lemmy: We are going in the studio in

Oh! That why we’re not getting a call back for interview requests – I see… we we’re speaking with a girl named (name withheld) before, to handle our requests. Lemmy: Yeah I think she’s still there, but they’re winding down now.

Well then where is Motorhead going to be laying down now? Lemmy: Well there’s a company who will be taking over the whole stable soon, but I can’t tell you right now.

Of course… fucking jesus! Alright then I understand. (laughs) Lemmy: Yes, the secrets.

February to rehearse, write and record.

Oh yeah, gotta have the secrets.

On SPV (Motorhead’s current label) again?

Lemmy: Industrial espionage you know

Lemmy: Uh, well they just went bankrupt.

Yeah. Mikkey Dee is back in the drum throne, he finally got booted off that show “I’m a Celebrity,

Get Me the Fuck Out of Here” or whatever it’s called, in Malaysia – in the meantime, you had (Velvet Revolver/Ex-Guns n’ Roses drummer) Matt Sorum filling for about 11 dates, how did that work out? Did he get the set down ok? Lemmy: Yeah he was good.

Well I’m sure, as he grew up listening to Motorhead, but it’s nice to have Mikkey back? Lemmy: Yeah, he knows all the stuff

(Laughs) I guess he does. More importantly, I have been dying to ask – Lemmy: The Movie. New film/ documentary, I saw the trailer, I’ am fucking excited, now do you endorse this? Do you get final say on this? Lemmy: Yeah, yeah, oh yeah.

Continued >

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Is this going to get a theatrical release? Lemmy: Yeah, well they are going to premiere it in Austin, Texas

Oh, at the South By Southwest Conference. Lemmy: Yeah.

I mean there is 2 bands who really deserve to have the camera pointed at them for a documentary, I mean besides fucking journalists and that bullshit…

So has he got old High School photos of Lemmy?

Lemmy: (Turns to ABORT photographer Scott Alexander) He just said you were bullshit (laughs)

I never actually read that, so I’m the idiot, I go as far back as old Kerrang magazines from the late 80’s which I don’t read any more cause they’re full of Emo bands

That reminds me of another band like you or Motorhead that was long overdue in getting a film made about them and that’s Anvil.

Scott Alexander: (laughs)Don’t worry I get that all the time. So can we expect to see any guest appearances any other testimonials

Lemmy: Yeah they’re great.

Lemmy: Well, they got all kinds of

Lemmy: Well there been some of those in the autobiography right?

Lemmy: Yeah, I don’t what they’re doing

anymore…not much obviously. Both: (Laughs)

fucking shit., you would not believe it Dave Brock (co-founder - Hawkwind) has all kinds

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Also explain to our readers, what this “jogglebug” is? Lemmy: What?

JoggleBug! Lemmy: Beats me man…I don’t know what the fuck that is.

Apparently you go online every night and talk to the fans after each show Lemmy: Ah! No, I just pick up the phone and garble incoherently

(Laughs) okay sounds good. Lemmy: These are just publicity mind-stunts

Yes, but does Motorhead still need publicity after all this time Lemmy: Well people don’t know us over here [North America]like they do in Europe still

I noticed in some other publications that bands like Metallica have paid homage to you .. Lemmy: I was on stage with them the

other night in Nashville Oh really? Lemmy: Yeah

So they had their movie (Some Kind of Monster) were they’re weeping and sobbing. Lemmy: No, my movie is not going to be like that (laughs)

Okay good (Laughs) This tour ends in Moscow in Dec and you have some date with Girlschool… Lemmy: …and The Damned!

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The Damned! Wow! Of all fucking bands, haven’t heard from them in a bit, as far Girlschool are you guys gonna do “Please Don’t Touch” (from St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP)

Yeah, and it cost $22 for 4 fucking songs Lemmy: It was supposed to be HeadGirl,

Lemmy: Oh yeah did you ever see the Gatefold for “Space Ritual“ (Hawkwind)? It was fucking huge.

Lemmy: Well we probably will at

And that was back when vinyl really meant something

…and god rest Kelly Johnson

Lemmy: Yeah there would be the “Special few” who got a picture disc

So that’s it, new album to start recording in February and touring until end of December 2009. Thank you man


Lemmy: Yes she died of Cancer

Yeah, I used to have the picture disc of Motorschool were you were all dressed up as gangster from the 30’s/40’s Lemmy: Yeah that was the Japanese one,

wasn’t it

but it ended up being Motorschool , what the fuck is that?

Or how about the Gatefold?

Lemmy: Thank you

Yeah now you cant download a picture disc

Lemmy: Yeah you cant even read the

By E.S. Day

fucking label!

Photos by Scott Alexander

Do you miss all that? Lemmy: Yeah, I do

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Rammstein The ABORT Interview

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n Never a band to conform to the norm, the name Rammstein instills fear in the hearts of men and has others running for the door when witnessing this 6-man wrecking crew performing live. With the original line-up still intact, the band has dropped their 6th album Lieve Ist Für Alle Da which hit stores on October 16th and has already been banned in Germany for its (apparent) graphic depictions of sadism. With CD sales reaching over 10 million + worldwide, a huge crossover fan base, and a new tour on the horizon, this will not stop the industrial metal kings in 2010. ABORT Magazine’s E.S. Day got a chance to speak with guitarist Paul H. Landers about the new album, the songwriting process and of course their controversial video for the lead single “Pussy”. Don’t forget to buy their “Just in time for Christmas” 6-dildo and handcuff box set.   E.S. Day: We are speaking with Paul H. Landers from Rammstein. How are you?

Paul Landers: Sehr gut, danke schoen! ABORT: We’ll get right into it. First off, the current album that’s in stores now is your sixth album and it exploded on the Billboard charts. I need to know how to pronounce it!

PL:(speaking in Deutsch). Lieve Ist Für Alle Da. Continued  ›

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ABORT: Oh fuck, forget it, I won’t even try that (laughs). And what does that mean?

PL: Love is for Everyone. ABORT: Oh, fair enough.

PL:There’s an acronym. If you take the first letters, you get LIFAD, which means “supply” or “deliver”. ABORT: And what is it that you are delivering? What message?

PL:(laughs) When we were thinking about the title for this album, that one came up, we went with it as a funny title, because it almost sounded like something from a regular pop artist. There’s a music style called “slager”, which is kind of folky, pop kind of music. It can also be like a name of a TV show on a sort of trashy station, like RTL. ABORT: So, is it safe to say the band is almost making fun of themselves or are they taking a stab at the pop culture? PL: It’s always difficult to come up with an album title, it’s a torturous process and that was the only one that came up, that we could agree upon. We do have a preference for titles like “Flash” or “Mother/ Father”, but it just wasn’t the right choice this time. ABORT: Ok. Now, this being the sixth album over a fifteen year period, I’m just going to guess that the songwriting process is a well thought one, the songs are well written and crafted. But specifically, did the band just go into the jam space and started banging out riffs or was it a shift to having a blueprint for the album? Were you really meticulous in writing it or was it just a natural occurrence?

PL: Oh, you’re actually really close with your assessment. It’s both. We got together, jammed, collected riff ideas and then took those, put them into the computer, trying to figure out which ones are worthy enough to make it into songs and then brought them back to the band space and played

those to see which ones sound the best. It sounds easy as I’m saying this in the interview, but the process was way way more difficult, with the exception of the jam sessions, which were a lot of fun. It was a really tiresome, meticulous process putting the songs together. ABORT: All right, fair enough. Now of course I have no choice but to touch upon the current video for “Pussy”, obviously, because you got fourteen-year-old boys across the world that clogged the website when we posted it (laughs). The question being, the making of the video, “Pussy”, had to be an experience. Were you uncomfortable being on the set with that? And were those body doubles or was the band having fellatio performed on them, which I have to say is a hell of a days work! (laughs)

PL: (Laughs) In the video it was all us but in the terms of close-ups of specific body parts – there were some body doubles. ABORT: Oh, wow, because I’m pretty sure quite a few people think it must be nice to be in Rammstein right now (laughs). You know, go into work and fuck all day.

PL: (Laughs) It was really fun. Our drummer’s girlfriend initially came to the set and he ended up sending her home. ABORT: How come?

PL: For the reasons named above. ABORT: Obviously, sex seems to be the theme on this album, at least right now will all the promotion going on, especially when you include the box-set with all the dildos and sex toys. Are we going to see anything else that’s provocative like that before the year ends?

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P.L.: With love being the main topic of this album, it’s actually always an interesting topic to deal with, but we prefer to deal with the dark aspects of it. This time, with all the dildos and everything, we wanted to sort of take things a bit over the top and see how far we could go with it. ABORT: Yes, it’s good, I think we need that. The music is just so fucking stale right now that it was nice and refreshing to have Rammstein come back and throw a dart into the forehead of the mainstream and kind of wake everyone up. Not to mention, it makes a good Christmas gift by the way. This works out. Everybody is happy. What is the next single from the new album and video?

PL: (laughs) The next track that we have chosen is the one that didn’t get much of a resonance on the internet, not much is mentioned about it, but it’s “Ich Tu Dir Weh”, which means “I Hurt You”. We shot the video for that last week and yesterday we shot the video for “Haifisch”. ABORT: Oh, so there are two videos coming up? When can we see this?

PL: “Ich Tu Dir Weh” is probably going to be out in the next couple of weeks and “Haifisch” in January or February 2010.

ABORT:: What are the chances of Rammstein putting out a remix CD or maybe people on the industrial scene doing remixes of Rammstein songs, like a compilation? Will that ever happen? P.L.: That is something we’ve been thinking about and it’s not improbable for this to happen. ABORT: That would be far off I assume.

P.L.: It’s something we are keeping in mind. ABORT:: When can we see Rammstein in Canada and specifically Vancouver?

P.L.: After next summer, provided that the band is still healthy and everything and South America as well. Canada has always been a place where we enjoyed playing because of the difference with the States. The people are a bit more friendly there. ABORT: Oh, definitely, we are not too fond of the Americans, so I’ll agree with that. (both laugh). You have Combichrist as the opening act for this tour, so will they be doing the whole tour and coming to Canada with you or is it just in Europe?

“With love being the main topic of this album, it’s actually always an interesting topic to deal with, but we prefer to deal with the dark aspects of it.”

Continued  ›

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P.L.: We think it’s going to be Europe for starters and if things work out well then we’ll think about taking them on for the next lap.

ABORT: Oh, wow. When will it happen? Probably next year?

ABORT: Speaking of Canada, tonight specifically in Vancouver and it’s been eighteen years since they played here, we have the reunited Skinny Puppy playing. Which brings us to the next question: what Canadian acts have you been listening to or do you favor besides them? What’s on your ipod that’s from Canada?

P.L.: Probably at the next Frankfurt Music Fair.

P.L.: (laughs) There are a lot of the bands, where we don’t know whether they are Americans or Canadians. We met ohGr and he’s usually a nice guy. I also like Billy Talent for they got their own unique style and the guitar players are really good. ABORT: And lastly, current endorsements? Who or what are you playing?

ABORT: The new album is in stores now. You can visit the band’s web-site at And of course, look for the “Pussy” video . The tour is coming up, catch the band in Europe and America. Thank you for your time today and we look forward to seeing you in Canada, when you come here.

Thank you! P.L.: Right now I’m sitting next to a signature Gibson guitar. ABORT::Oh, a custom guitar?

Special Thanks to Arceon

P.L.: It’s like a prototype and if it plays really well it will become my signature model. ABORT: Will it be available to the public?

P.L.: Yeah.

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TO THE POINT: M.O.P. Photography by: Ajani Charles

ABORT Magazine’s Dave “Corvid” McCallum spoke with Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame from the notorious M.O.P. in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, in March of 2008. The ensuing conversation was elucidating, eloquent, and peppered with the colorful vernacular of Brownsville N.J. (don’t forget getting face-sprayed with grill spit from Lil’ Fame – Ed)

Billy: M.O.P., is in the building.....NIGGA!

Lil Fame: NIGGA! (which, coming through his massive diamond studded grill sound more like “NIUCCA!”

Billy: Yeah mothafucka what’s up?! Billy: That’s what I got to say about that!

ABORT: Just chilling here at Canadian Music Week, what’s up with you guys?

Billy: Yeah, we chilling and shit, having a ball, doing what we’s our week!

Lil Fame: Yeah yeah yeah, same old shit! We out here, ‘bout to have a show tonight, we ‘bout to tear that motherfucker up, that’s about it son.

ABORT: So, first off, people want to know what happened with the split with G-Unit? Was it creative differences?

Lil Fame: No, we gonna do business with 50 Cent in the future, y’namean? At the time things just...the timing was bad. But we got love for G-Unit and Fifty, yeah.

ABORT: (to Billy) Any comment on the G-Unit split?

ABORT: So, what’s the state of Hardcore? You guys have been keeping it Hardcore for like twelve years now, what do you have to say to the Hardcore rappers out there?

Billy: Um, if that’s what you do, if that’s your comfort zone, if that’s what you’re comfortable doing, if you feel like you don’t want to compromise or make any other style of music then um, I can’t tell you not to. But on the honest, my opinion is that you should always branch off into different kinds of music so you can keep your shit floating. This shit don’t work for everybody, younamsayin?

ABORT: You did a full Rapcore album a few years back, how do you feel about the mix of Rap and Metal?

Lil Fame: Yeah, we gonna do some more of those. We gonna get this M.O.P. album out, I got a solo album called “The Fame and The Glory”, Billy Danze got a solo album called “Behind Gates”, and we just working!

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ABORT: You guys on ITunes?

Billy: I ain’t giving nobody my shit for free, ITunes ain’t getting a motherfucking thang! Ain’t nobody from a record label getting a motherfucking thang, it’s just gonna be us and the kids, you dig? I mean, we actually structuring deals right now, we moving everyday, this shit is perpetual with us, younamean? Like we don’t sit still. Fame is on the production side, anybody looking for production Fame got it. We both doing solo albums, also we be doing movies and shit like that. While we’re doing all this shit we be doing, we’re still creating the M.O.P. album, which we already have two albums of music for. Like I told the homie before, just because we here surviving today, we getting a whole other vibe from what we had yesterday. So, we may go home and in two days create another record just from what we got here. So, it’s perpetual baby, we keep moving. In fact, we run this motherfucker! How about that?

ABORT: Who are you hearing these days that’s catching the radar?

Billy: I heard some of the joints from Lil Fame’s album! Yeah, fuck everybody else!

ABORT: Alright! So, we are at Canadian Music Week, what advice do you have for the up and comers trying to make a career out of this Hip Hop shit?

Lil Fame: Motherfucker, come to my show nigga! Bring your ass to my show nigga, that’s all, younamean? (laughs all around)

ABORT: Cool, thanks guys, peace.

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Montreal, Qc, Canada O# 514.932.1244 C# 514.581.5780


Asher Media Relations & Staff follow one rule and one rule only, that is getting artists the media attention that they deserve. By developing pr campaigns for image awareness and media support, AMR showcases & represents talented artists to all media outlets ranging from Print, Radio, Online & Television across Canada.

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STAREBLIND Something Left Unexplained (Independent) Abort

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The CuttingEdge Calgary


by Taylor Ell


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EDGE: Erich Weiss

Director of Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry E.S. Day: we are here with Director Erich Erich: the 20th Century. Weiss. I’m pronouncing that right? We will go with that. Highly inspired Erich Weiss: Yeah that’s correct by Japanese art. He lived in Hawaii for most of his life or all of his life? Director for, now I have to get this right...whorey, I fucked that Erich: For most of his adult life. up right away. He was a bit of a shit disturber lets say. Erich: I can do that for you... He was the Hunter Thompson of Tattoo artists maybe? Do it for me... Erich:....Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry

Erich: Yeah but less of a pussy

Oh, beautiful. Smoku and you’ve got to include “Sailor Jerry” and its a documentary about Erich: I don’t mean to spit on a man’s grave Sailor Jerry one of the most famous but I dunno… tattoo artists of…fucking forever.... of all time. CONTINUED> Abort 35

When did Sailor Jerry pass away? Erich: he passed away in 1973.

Erich: (Laughs) you can say that about how the economy is going right now. But it’s an artistic trade. All the guys I grew up with and the guys before them, you were just tattooing to get glory, you weren’t doing it to pay the rent.

‘73 okay. Where did you get the.. I’m not going to say inspiration; I hate fucking questions like that. What made you say fuck this - I’m making a movie? Was Sailor Jerry, would you say, to you...from all the research Erich: Well I had always been interested you’ve done and interviews in tattooing. I think I got my first tattoo you’ve conducted , would it around 14 by a guy named Sunny be possible that you found out Toughs. And this was.. I’m 36 now and the hard way that really that this was when tattoo shops were still all it was for him was paying kind of a scary place and you’d walk in the bills. It wasn’t necessarily. and get intimidated and I think at 14 I about culture maybe for him probably looked like I was 8. You know maybe then it was being the I got young.. Ricky Schroeder jeans gritty dirty tattoo guy , you man. (laughs) know, he was trying to make a buck? (Laughs) Erich: But I would go in and it was a place where guys, you know bikers and gnarly dudes went, that’s what was so cool about it. It wasn’t like a shop girl that was like hello your aren’t in a casino.

To say what I see today it’s fucking fashionista tattoo shops which is really odd. Erich:...and we can go into that

Which is okay I guess.. Erich: We live... I live in America and everything is co modified eventually. And you can say that about Japan and any industrialized country. But that’s what happens you can do right way and the wrong way. In the end its an artistic trade. Money is green.

Erich: Yeah no in a way it was the dichotomy of this guy just like...

Money wasn’t a big thing to him was it? Erich: Money was.... He was a working class guy. He was a Navy guy for years.

But he wasn’t out to be rich. Erich: No, he hated publicity, he hated that, but he liked the fact when things were respected as art. You know, that’s why he communicated with the “Horis”. Horis is the moniker used for a Japanese Master it means to carve. Jerry was in Hawaii from the early twenties till he passing in 73’ so he was kind of indoctrinated from World War 2.

Money is green.

He was a veteran?

Erich: I don’t know what the loonie is.

Erich: to hate the Japs as we say.

culture enough that the artistry of what the Horis were doing to communicate with them. He was one of the few American Tattoo Artists to communicate with the Japanese Masters the Horis. He traded colors they traded design and aesthetics, everything and what he created out of that was this amazing blend of that bold deep line with continental you know that Navy style tattoo, you know, with 3 color and he blended the shading and the story telling and the kind of connectivity

It meant something.. Erich: Yeah.

Thanks for speaking with us Erich Erich: Thanks man. Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry DVD is in stores Now

It’s brown like shit and that’s Which is ironic how he ended pretty well what it’s worth up... Abort 37 36 (Laughs) Erich: but he respected Japanese

By E.S. Day

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Rogue illustrator-turned toy designer, Frank Kozik has bee Rock & Roll poster art, known for his exceptional work w The Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. ABORT Magazine by NOT discussing his current toy line and tries to brin a quick 21 & Under With….and we dig deep to find out B-B-Q and his love of Doom & Drone bands.

F to the K motherfuckers!

E.S. Day: E.S Day here for ABORT Magazine, an vinyl toy designer Frank Kozik, how are you sir? Frank Kozik: Pretty good

ABORT: Good, we’re going to get right into this. E scene, for quite some time, from the outside looking in your eyes? You’ve pointed a few things out in the this changed for you, and are you getting a laugh out of the n to speak.

FK: Actually, there is an amazing spread of talent. There is of co I mean, there was back then, but it was crappy Xeroxes instea is an enormous amount of activity and a lot of really g to really keep track of. The differences are now get nowadays when I was artist or a designer, or pr a music scene and busine ers for shows that were use promotion. It wasn’t like “ because the music scene the other way around. I was doing it in the vibrant local music play worth a shit, paying me mon The big differ ple that ar of an age money not sa Now wit fo

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en an iconoclastic figure in the world of with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, E.S. Day took the time to piss off Frank ng him out of rock poster retirement for t about his latest drag car designs, Texas

nd we speaking with artist, illustrator, and ?

Even though you’ve retired from the poster g in, how has the poster-art scene changed current film ‘American Architect’ how has new generation of “Photoshop phonies”, so

ourse, a million people doing ‘crap-work’... ad of crappy computer files. I think there good artists. Limitless actually. Too much w, what I’m seeing now, what people don’t doing my posters, I wasn’t trying to be an ropel some personal agenda, I was part of ess, and everything I did were really posted on the street, and in stores, and as tour “I’m a designer I want to work in posters is cool and so I’ll do rock posters.” It was It was like commercial art. e beginning because I was part of a really scene. All my friends were in bands, I cant , but I could make posters. People started ney to do it, and that was fucking awesome. rence now, is that 99% of what I see is peore working in the gig poster scene as part enda. They all want to be designers, make y, and a lot of them go to school for it. I’m aying that’s bad, it’s just different. w there is a few cats that are really obsessed th certain kinds of bands and they do work or those bands, and that’s more pure, but I think the main thing I see is there is a much larger volume of work being done. And the majority of it, I’m not going to say its false, but I don’t see that big of a personal connection. They’re not going out to the clubs and seeing those bands on their first tour

through and hooking up [with the band] You know what I’m saying? ABORT: Yeah, definitely. FK: (cont.) The Internet makes it a lot easier, you know, digital file. Back then, it would take a fucking week lay out a poster and you would have to alter it by hand. This process now, you sit down, bing bang boom two hours you make a beautiful poster, email it somewhere, and you’ve made a poster. ABORT: It’s a shame. I was going to say, its safe to say, that photoshop and the internet, as a whole, seem to have ruined the vibrant allure that seem to have enticed people to own and value these prints from back in the day, as you said its just not the same now. FK: The other thing that’s different, my stuff, is all kind of into the nineties, working with some of these bands that got big. Ninety percent of what I did, I actually went to the show. I think that’s really changed a lot too. Its different, but I’ve seen a lot of good work. It’s a mixed bag, overall thought; I think anything creative that helps another creative scene is good. I’m into it. I get offers, for music work weekly, and some of it is for big pay cheques, and I always say no. I’m always really straight with them, I don’t know your band, I’ve never heard your band, I don’t give a shit about your band, you should find someone who is stoked to do it, because I’d would only be doing it for the money. And that’s not right. ABORT: Speaking of the new school, the new breed of artists, who is your current favorite artist, your recommendation that we should be looking at for an up-and-comer that has maybe caught your eye? FK: Some of the people I think are doing some really cool stuff that are doing music posters, I really like this crew called Print Mafia. Their shit is nice and raw, they have great sensibilities, the stuff they do suits the band that they do it for. They do silk-screening, and they really take advantage of it to make their work look better. I have to say, I really dig their shit, and usually its pretty funny too. I’m into the raw edge of the new hard bands. Not so much into the overly baroque; ‘oh look, it’s a like a butterfly’ that’s just really pretty, but for me, its not a music poster. ABORT: Speaking of American Architect I’m going to go backwards for a minute, have you seen the film now that it’s finished? FK: Yeah, I saw the film, I thought it was entertaining, it was pretty good, The Director, [Merle Becker] did a good job on it. I think it makes the material accessible for someone who isn’t totally obsessed with the stuff, unlike other documentaries that I have been involved with, that just speak to people in the know. I think this film is decently enough put together, and entertaining enough to reach outside of the core nerd poster audience. ABORT: What’s on the ‘FrankPod’ these days, what do you listen to? FK: I still sort of listen to doom metal, let me open up the fucking player, and tell you what’s on the mix right now. We’re talking; Electric Wizard, Sleep, Holy Mountain ABORT: Oh! So the old school doom? FK: (cont) Church of Misery from Japan. I listen to a lot of Ambient. There are a couple channels on iTunes that play Ambient Drone music, and I’ll occasionally bust out some Haggard, in the continued on page __ car. Primarily it’s blues-based heavy slow rock stuff.

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ABORT: Is the music you listen to inspiring some of what you’re currently doing, in the last decade, the vinyl toys?

ABORT: Any gallery shows, or conventions, anything coming up that you may be plugging your new line of toys at?

FK: No, not really, I really made a big effort to have the toy designs having nothing to do with my previous work, and it worked out really well. What’s interesting, at this point, I’ve done way more designs and made way more money, and have a much larger fan base for the toys than I ever did for the rock stuff. Everyone likes the toys, the rock stuff was mostly white dudes who went to college.

FK: I just wrapped up a nice gallery show down in Los Angeles, at Billy Shire Fine Arts, so I did just blow out all the stops and do a bunch of big gallery stuff. For the rest of the winter I’m going to concentrate more on the commercial toys, and I’ll be doing a bunch of advertising work for Dunlop guitar picks. No rules, I can do whatever I want, Dunlop just wants some really wild looking shit to put into stores.

ABORT: (laughs) Has there ever been a group or band that you never got to work with, but wanted to, that you would come out of retirement for one day only, had they asked? FK: No, because now they’re all old. If I could have a time machine, sure, It would be fucking rad to do some early Black Flag stuff, or a real Sex Pistols poster or something. Or like 1970’s Sabbath. I definitely think most musicians need to retire once they start to get chubby.

I’m also putting together a drag car, I’ve been really heavy into motor sports these days, putting together a competitive drag car. ABORT: You mean designing the art on it? FK: Building the actual car. I’ll be starting to run my current car every weekend in Sacramento, but the real drag car will hit the tracks in 2010. Doing an altered wheel base nostalgia AFX factory type funny car.

ABORT: Do you miss Texas barbeque, having lived in San Francisco since 1993. FK: Yes. The barbeque out here is fucking sad. ABORT: (laughs) Vegan Barbeque! ABORT: Where can we find Frank Kozik on the web? FK: If people want to see my new stuff, they should check out the Kid Robot site, and for my older stuff, there is a really good archive at Also, of course, ABORT: Thanks very much, I appreciate it Frank. FK: Take it easy.

• •

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ABORTIST WHO: John U. Abrahamson WHAT: Painter WHERE: Los Angeles, California

Cigarrette Burns

WHEN: “Flesh and Blood” solo exhibition at Bert Green Fine Art, March 10th through April 24th, 2010 WHY: Painting for me is exorcism. All the horror

and pain, the stuff that tears you apart or inevitably kills you I give birth to on paper, wood and canvas. Since this will be a washing away of the last ten years with my next solo show, “Flesh and Blood” along with the artwork, I chose to destroy all my personal journals that documented the pain I portrayed. The center piece to the show of the same title “Flesh and Blood” will be an installation of 300 vials of my flesh and blood suspended over the journals on a metal frame that form the shape of a prone human. The 30 journals, 220 pgs each, are open for the viewers to destroy. The installation/performance piece will be accompanied by 30 paintings of oils on wood and paper.

Scar Tissue

Purchase /Commission/Info:

Mother Issues

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TABORTIST ABORTIST WHO: Natalia Prada WHAT: Film Director, Photographer, Graphic Designer

WHERE: Bogota, Colombia WHY: I have a very strong interest in topics

such as pain, anxiety and other human feelings assumed by society as “negative”. These pictures were made as a pre-work of a big project that was called “ Imago”. This project was my graduation project in Visual Arts, and it consists of 5 images. One of these is the one called “The Ostrich”, were I characterized myself, representing some of the characters that were recurrent in my dreams when I had a very advanced Anxiety disorder. The image of “Bathory” was part of my interest in famous women with dark characteristics, it is also a self portrait were I represent the bloody countess known also as Elizabeth Bathory, a woman who believed that bathing with young women’s blood will keep her young and beautiful. This line of work reiterates my interest in the area of artistic experimentation in different media such as photography, film and graphic design.


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The Ostrich

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ABORTIST ABORTIST WHO: Patrick J. Byers WHAT: Digital Manipulation WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta WHEN: “Dirty Show� 2010

group exhibition, Detroit


I've always been compelled to express myself in any medium I could get my hands on. Carving, painting, photography, sculpting... but finally settled on a combination of them. For example: I will create and paint a mask, develop a costume, do a photo shoot and then take other stock pictures I've shot, as well as specifically directed poses, and combine them all digitally. The process can take weeks. Each piece is a compilation of literally thousands of digitally combined images. I draw my artistic inspiration from my own personal nightmares and the documented horrors committed in the name of politics and religion.

Title: Rise of N5N1 Year: 2009 Medium: Extreme Digitial Photomanipulation Size: 20x30 Limited edition of 20



Title: Arrival of 1095 Year: 2008 Medium: Extreme Digitial Photomanipulation Abort 45 Size: 20x32 One

A Title: Malleus Maleficarum Year: 2009 Medium: Extreme Digitial Photomanipulation Size: 8x10 Limited edition of 25 16x20 Limited edition of 25

Title: devils v8 Year: 2007 Medium: Extreme Digitial Photomanipulation Size: 8x10 Limited edition of 20 16x20 Limited edition of 25 20x23 Limited edition of 25

Title: Hellclose Year: 2008 Medium: Extreme Digitial Photomanipulation Size: 20x32 Limited edition of 20

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ABORTIST ABORTIST WHO: Shiz WHAT: Airbrush/Graffiti artist WHERE: London, England WHEN: London T.V. Talk back WHY:

Shiz has been an artist since he was a kid. He graduated from an art college in France (George Sand), then moved to London in 1998.


In 2006 he started working as a freelance artist under the alias “Shiz� and designed some T-shirts and sold them in Portobello market, London. He soon realised that customers were more interested in custom painting than just clothes. So he learned how to do airbrushing, graffiti art and body painting. Since Portobello he has worked with other famous Airbrush artists and graffiti artists in the U.K. and met some of the best in the airbrushing world, who inspired him to always progress and be a better artist. Shiz works mainly by himself, but also with other artists depending on the commission. Shiz is always looking for new ways to paint and to evolve.

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ABORTIST WHO: Vincent Castiglia

WHAT: Surrealist | Note: The entire collection

of paintings by Vincent Castiglia is created exclusively in his own blood (which anhydrates as iron oxide).

WHERE: New York, New York WHEN:

Last Rites Gallery – 2nd Annual ì13th Hour exhibition, featuring Paul Booth, David Stoupakis, Vincent Castiglia, Chet Zar, Genevive Zacconi, Fred Harper, and many more. October 24th- November 23rd. New York, New York and at The Stephan Stucki Gallery, January, 2010, Zurich Switzerland – Solo exhibition |

WHY: Making art was unavoidable. Its been my salvation. What I’d felt inside my whole life, the intensity with which I work and experience the world needed a suitable channel, and the creative process was just this. There came a point when my subject matter dictated to me the requirement for my current medium. As I felt it, the circle was not yet complete. I was on the verge of making images that nearly touched what I felt inside, but using the impersonal instruments of pen, acrylics or oils just felt wrong, as if I were lying or something. It felt like cutting up a newspaper and pasting together other people’s words to communicate my own thoughts and feelings. I needed a more direct connection with my work, one that could not lie or be reproduced. In this way, my connection to my medium was inevitability, similar to a hemorrhage. The pressure keeps building, and sooner or later it finds its own way of release. In a sense, they’re not paintings, they are hemorrhages. It’s an almost startling realization, even for me to this day, to step back among the body of work I’ve produced while in view, and to comprehend that all of it, every inch of that material, including the seven foot tall paintings I’ve done, previously pumped through my heart, my veins, and delivered life to my flesh.

Gravity- 2006, 24x48-Collection-Gregg Allman

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The Sleep- 2006, 55x82, Blood on Watercolor.

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MOND AY . 1 UP night liv e







With Djs: D-Rec, Stylust, Sichuan, and Abel


Abort 51

Storm Thorgerson The ABORT Interview

The Album cover may have died in the iTunes graveyard, as we are subjected to the loss of the gatefold, the liner note and have been subjected to endure thumbnail jpegs of our favorite artist’s CD covers. We go back in time for this ENKORE interview with the legendary cover designer Storm Thorgerson, the man responsible for some of the biggest covers in the world including acts like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and more. E.S. Day here for ABORT Magazine and we are sitting here with legendary artist and album cover designer Mr. Storm Thorgerson, how are you sir? Storm Thorgerson: Fine thank you Now you are here for an exhibit and it’s your first time in Canada, why did it take you so long to come to Canada and why Vancouver? ST: Well it was by chance really, why Canada? No particular reason, I think I’m known all over the place whether its Canada or America or South Africa, I mean we have done exhibitions in Cape Town and Mexico City, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and London of course. Do you plan on hitting up any other cities while you are in the country?

ST: No just Vancouver, because we have to get back to work. And what would the next project be? ST: Well we have to finish a project for a Pink Floyd box set (currently in stores -Ed), which is very exciting for us and hopefully will be exciting for Pink Floyd fans as well, and this box set is all the original album as “mini-vinyls” as it were. Pink Floyd is actually more active than you would think. Yes even with all the solo stuff etc. ST: Yes, now this box set also includes the mono versions and the stereo versions, which are quite different, so if you are a music cognoscenti and you’re keen on Pink Floyd then its very interesting. It also contains unreleased material.

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Someone, somewhere always loves music whether it's a policeman or a granny or a politician.

Now your views on the apparent Led Zeppelin reunion? ST: Yes, I heard about that. I don’t have any inside knowledge of this. Have you been in touch with Jimmy Page or Robert Plant? What if they approached you to do let’s say… the tour poster?

ST: Well, I am a working As far as the band, they know where to find me. As far as I’m concerned the music is still good and I would be happy to do it. Do you still have the younger bands after you ? I see you have Anthrax and Audioslave etc… ST: Oh yes, even younger. Oh? ST: Yes I have a Scottish band called Biffy Clyro, excellent band, truly excellent band. Label?

(Laughs) ST: They are a great band a 3-piece band Oh a 3-piece, you cannot go wrong with a trio – lots of raw energy. Does that make a different as to what you conceptualize in your read as far as the album art? ST: No we always work the music whether its new like Biffy Clyro or if you back lets say Audioslave or Anthrax or Phish, or even further back like Alan Parsons or Pink Floyd., Led Zeppelin, it doesn’t really matter, it’s always about the music. Music is one of the few things in life that is…great. It's like color or trees or dolphins, it’s one of those things that are always okay. Someone, somewhere always loves music whether it's a policeman or a granny or a politician, it could be in Bangladesh or Venezuela. To me it's a privilege to work with music, but I could do with more money (laughs). (laughs) take note people!

ST: I believe they are on a subsidiary of Warner Bros. But I don’t pay attention to labels

ST: No, not people – take note employers!, although some bands are funny, Pink Floyd say they have been trying to get rid of me for years!

Yes, I don't blame you.

(Laughs) Now you’ve mentioned South Africa.

ST: Well actually the record label have been very co-operative, so I better not say anything against them.

ST: Yes, exhibitions. CONTINUED>

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Yes, of course. ST: I actually met Paul Simon 40 years ago, he played at my girlfriends 21st birthday party, by sheer coincidence– I didn't know him and he also didn’t know Pink Floyd, who also played. What a small world. Let me ask this, how about a up and coming act who cannot afford your services who lets day did not have the financial backing..

Both (Laughs) Storm’s latest book Taken by Storm is available now By E.S. Day Photos by Mark Boucher

ST: Well we have no fixed prices, so it depends what it is. So each case is taken at face value. Last thing, any advice for up and coming artists who want to break into the business? ST: Don’t do it! I have got enough trouble getting a job as is, I don't want to have to fight you off as well (laughs) Get the hell out of his way kids! ST: Yes get out of my stream, But seriously its not a well-paying job fundamentally you have to love design and you have to like music otherwise you're screwed. If you want money be a real estate agent. Always a pleasure, thank you for your time, and I am now going to walk out of here with a framed print of Led Zeppelin’s “Presence”…half price!

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The release of “The Ones I Condemn” marks a rare return to form by Canadian Thrash Metal legends Sacrifice, whose razor sharp riffs combined with Rob Urbinati’s piercing banshee shrieks and bestial growls made for one of the most original and intense Metal styles ever created. After a decade and a half of dormancy, they have proven their continued relevance with a work of deadly accuracy and diabolic force. ABORT Magazine’s Dave McCallum spoke with singer/guitarist Rob Urbinati on their reunion and future.

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Dave McCallum: It’s been sixteen years since the release of “Apocalypse Inside”, and now with the release of the new album “The Ones I Condemn”, it kind of begs the question, what have you been up to and what led up to the release of the new album? Rob Urbinati: Well, we broke up in ninety-three, and previous to that Gus our drummer left around nineteen-ninety. Scott, our bass player, he left right before our last American tour. So basically, it was Joe Rico and myself, and we ended up breaking the band up then. Since then, you know, we all played in bands and that, and kinda did our own thing for a while, but we were presented with an offer to play a reunion show in Toronto in two thousand-six, and we agreed to it. It was difficult for us to do, because we all live all over the place, you know. But we did get together and do it and we were solely focused on doing that one show. We had absolutely no plans to do anything else, we were really focused on doing it, and basically that was the beginning of the second time around for us. You know, it was a really creative time for us after that. It took a while to write the album, obviously, but we just kept coming up with really great ideas. ABORT: Your lyrics have always dealt with themes of death and warfare, and back in the nineties the whole thrash scene was often portrayed as being this really negative music, what with the PMRC and all, and before Gangster Rap came out it was like Thrash and Heavy Metal were like public enemy number one! For people that were into the music, there were a lot of heavy political references and such, and this era definitely has plenty of that material. Do you feel like you consciously stay on top of politics and reflect that in

you music? Rob: Well I do, but it’s got nothing to do with being “for the music” or whatever. I like to follow world politics mainly, but I’m not really thinking about lyrics or anything like that, especially at this stage in my life, you know. I still read the newspaper, I’m kind of a news junkie, so I just keep up that way. ABORT: You’ve also been inspired a fair bit by Horror Movies, any current faves? Rob: I just find with the Horror genre, there’s not a lot of good things coming out. I mean, I don’t dig deep like I used to, but there’s been some original stuff that I’ve really enjoyed, like the “Hostel” series I thought were a really good idea, and the “Saw” movies, although now it’s gone on a bit too long! (laughs all around). That kind of stuff I can still enjoy, but if I want to really watch a movie I’ll go back and watch “The Exorcist” or “The Shining” or “The Omen” or something, you know. ABORT: Just as you were asked to regroup for that 2006 show, it seems a lot of classic 80’s and 90’s era Thrash bands like yourselves and say Death Angel for example have recently reformed and put out albums to great acclaim, do you feel like there is a renewed and ongoing interest in Thrash of that era? Rob: Yeah, I mean, it’s not just a resurgence of all the old Thrash bands, I mean I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a whole bunch of new Thrash bands that have come out too. I can’t really say why, other than that maybe Metal has got so extreme that people want to take a step back, but still hear extremity within the genre. I guess things just go in cycles, and Thrash is it right now, whatever the reason. ABORT: Also back in that era

there was a huge divide between Thrash bands and Hardcore, Power Metal or whatever, and nowadays a lot of these bands are grouped together as being bands of the same era. Do you feel like there’s less distinction between genres now with a renewed interest in bands from that golder era? Rob: Not really, but it is kind of odd that way. You know, when Sepultura came out they were considered a Death Metal band, and now I guess people consider them a Thrash band, for the most part. As far as playing with other bands, we’ve always played with pretty diverse bands. When we first started, there was no “Thrash” scene, we didn’t even call it Thrash yet, I don’t think. But we didn’t really fit in playing with, you know, “regular” Metal bands, so we started playing with Punk bands, you know, Hardcore bands. We seemed to fit in better there, ‘cause there’s the speed and aggression there. ABORT: Back in the day, members of Testament and Death Angel both admitted that their guilty musical pleasures included Madonna and Janet Jackson, any guilty pop music pleasures that you would admit to?

same high standards we’d set with the last one. Maybe we have it in us, maybe we don’t, but I’m not really thinking of it right now. At some point we’ll start writing again and we’ll see how it goes. ABORT: On a final note, I interviewed Sam Dunn, who directed “Metal: A Headbangers Journey”, and asked him who he thought the greatest Canadian Metal band of all time was...and he said Sacrifice! Rob: That’s awesome! I mean, I see Sam all the time, and I’ve told him that “Headbangers Journey” is the best Metal movie of all time, so...I haven’t seen “Global Metal” yet though. ABORT: Well, thanks so much, speaking as an Old School fan, it’s been an honour. Rob: Thanks man!

Rob: Umm..honestly no, and I’m not just saying that! (laughs) I mean, I find what I need within the metal genre, if I want to listen to pop music I’ll put on some Soilwork or something! (laughs). ABORT: Do you think that there will be another album with the original lineup? Rob: Well, when we got together for this album, like I said at first it was just a show, and then the album came together and exceeded our expectations of how good it could be. So if there were to be another album, it would also have to meet the

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The Rickshaw Theatre, Where A Music Scene Isn’t Dying

of lights have been praised by critics and fans. It took massive amounts of hard work and time for Duprey to finally get the Rickshaw Theatre. Livet says “Venues have no chance to succeed how the laws are set up. You can’t open a new venue if you want to have liquor. If you want to go all ages, you can’t get occupancy. It’s a constant battle with the city.” Vancouver’s Granville Entertainment District is the city’s popular night club strip. Promoters working within the GED, by comparison, have no trouble getting liquor licences and extended service hours past midnight. But attempting to herd the city’s youth and police power has its drawbacks. “People who really want to be involved in the music scene and want to get involved in the community aren’t going to do that on Granville Street.” Says Livet.

Can Vancouver’s newest live venue escape a fate worse than death?

Densixx Entertainment’s, Bryan Somerville, a promoter for the Rickshaw, comments on the Granville nightclubs’ lack of genre diversity; “We all know the owners of clubs gear the money and promotions to dance and disco. For sure, they’re paying their rent with that so they don’t care much about the live shows.” Babalon Entertainment’s, Jessica Keller, another one of Rickshaw’s promoters says, “There is not much support for music, it’s more support for money.”

t probably wouldn’t have been long, until Vancouver’s underground music scene could have been referred to as a buried music scene; at the rate alternative music venues and supporters have been withdrawing. Luckily, a breath of life has been CPR’d into Vancouver’s music scene by one of its newest live performance venues, the Rickshaw Theatre.

For Vancouver’s alternative culture the Rickshaw Theatre is a godsend, compensating for great venues that are closing down. Concert-goers are still talking about the disappointing loss of Richards On Richards, one of the most popular and revered nightclubs in Vancouver. Its owner, Francesco Aquilini, the same tight collared suit who owns the Canucks [Vancouver’s NHL team], is demolishing Richards to make way for condominiums.


Affordable ticket prices to established and talented local bands playing loud, experimental music is enough incentive for fans to dare explore the most gritty, underground venues. Rickshaw’s promoter, Malice Livet, is working with Rickshaw’s developer, David Duprey, to bring that rebelliousness to a technologically sophisticated and community orientated venue. Livet explains “I’m doing an all-local new years. I love the local shows. My thing has always been giving these local artists a platform to play. The new year’s show is so awesome because it’s for local bands and they’re all going to work hard.” The Rickshaw’s elevated seats enable audiences even in the back row, of the 500 seat capacity, or the upper balcony’s corners; to have a clear view of the performers. But why sit when you can stand? There’s an open floor right in front of the stage large enough for 200 people. Plus, its ample acoustics, sound systems and array

Vancouver is definitely running out of venues quick when the city’s favourite dive, Funky Winkerbean’s Pub, is letting metal bands perform. Pitchers are $9 and its location is on the doorstep of Vancouver eastside red light district. Its reputation aside, the Olio Festival of music, art and comics, passed through Winkerbean’s for a couple nights [in August 09] and received good reviews. If you’re a concert fanatic in Vancouver, with facial piercings and a hand sewn Slayer patch on your jacket, than you may have known the best place to hear the most extreme live shows in Vancouver, was at The Cobalt! Fans praised the infamous bar notoriously as a pivotal haven for Vancouver’s hardcore fans and bands. But why would its manager, Wendythirteen, be abruptly pulled aside and given an eviction notice [in July 09’] in the middle of a

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raging show? Well, for the first time in ten years: the cobalt was getting noise complaints and its landlords claimed it wasn’t making enough use of its liquor license even though Wendythirteen claims the bands, plus the atmosphere, always brought a crowd. But the biggest party in Vancouver history, the 2010 winter Olympics, is also a suspected component. And the concern stretches further than The Cobalt. Somerville says, “There is some confusion regarding the Olympics right now and what is going to be allowed.” Keller adds, “We’re not sure if we [the Rickshaw] will actually be open, since Hastings is an Olympic road.”

Bryan Somerville

Since Vancouver was awarded the 2010 winter Olympic games in 2003 there has been pre-Olympic “economic cleansing” activity. Hotels and [potential performance venues] have been closing down all over the city’s Olympic zone from health inspectors finding offences and not bothering to issue fines. Organizations like the Anti Poverty Committee, the Downtown Eastside Residence Association and Pivot Legal Society have their own opinions about the closers; to put it short: the city is helping developers to legally claim these properties where rundown buildings and the lower-income citizens congregate, so that they may build hotels (to accommodate everyone attending in 2010). Reports from homeless in the area, and residents of the downtown eastside can support the theory. But regardless, developers are buying-up much of the remaining vacant space in downtown Vancouver that could have been venues to showcase this city’s culture and arts. So go check out your favourite spot for live music because in Vancouver, it’s never certain how long it will last. With the Rickshaw Theatre’s down to earth management keeping things fresh, hopefully Vancouver’s new venue will define itself as a cultural refuge. Livet says, “With the Olympics... I’m going to go all out. I decided today I’m just going to book every day. It’s going to be local, it’s going to be touring. We could go the way of other venues and turn into a pub for those three weeks and not do live music, but we’re going to do live music and just see what happens.” By Brandon Siemens

Jessica Keller

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ABORT: Fro of “US”, you like there’s a side of thing

Brother Ali songs on the Abort homophobia 60 61

T Magazine’s Nigel Mojica happened upon Brother Ali in bby of the Ramada on Pender in Vancouver, sunk down in mchair with a fever of 102 degrees. Notwithstanding his ion, the underground rap icon had astute commentaries to n everything from the current leadership of hip hop, to the nal progression that’s led to his new album “US”.

a non-drinker who’s very th a party scene, do you it in the crowd or even , among users of booze that makes you cringe or y’re not getting the point?

I do, but I don’t think it’s because of substance. The don’t do that stuff doesn’t ge people who do. I think hings, most of em- drinkd and stuff like that- they ake certain parts of your and turn them up. They

outcome of those songs, the overall message you carry away is positive. ABORT: Ya, I guess I was thinking more about the singles..

there, and starting to want to have some relief for them too. You don’t want to come from difficult struggle and see the good results of your struggle and then just keep it for yourself.

fear. And the love and the celebration, and the joy, and all the above. ABORT: Are there any groups of people that give you an unexpected response, either positive or negative?

Brother Ali: Ya, “Us” and “Fresh Air” are definitely the happiest moments

ABORT: How does that take shape for you?

ABORT: Would you say that songs like these mark the emergence of a new Ali? What with so much of the stress of your previous albums being about overcoming hardship..

Brother Ali: Well that’s what this whole album is about. I mean, in my personal life I try to help as much as I can, try to do whatever I can for the people around me, give them opportunities, give them jobs, give money to causes I believe in, do a lot of benefit work, but that’s.. my personal business, y’know what I mean? What I do in the music is try to shed light on who these people really are, because my audience may not be as familiar with them as I am. And so I want to share their story after all these years of telling my story. I get all these people that come and say “I feel like that’s me in your music; I feel like you’re talking about me” and the fact is that they’re not albino Muslim rappers from the MidWest, single dad, homeless, divorced. That’s not their particular details, but the feeling in the music, they connect with that. I started thinking to myself, “what if I could tell the story about the people who are addicted to drugs and the people who sell drugs, almost out of necessity, and the people who are going through all these different things..” I’ve been really blessed and fortunate to be embraced and accepted- and rejected - by every group of people almost, and I’ve had some closeness with a lot of different walks of life and so, the idea with this album is to talk about all of them in a way that- just talk about my relationship with them so that the details start to not matter any more and everybody just sees each other for the human part of what they’re going through: the pain, the struggle, the hurt, the

Brother Ali: It’s never unexpected. I feel like there’s three categories of people. There’s people that really love what I’m doing and those are the people that i interact with. Those are people that talk to me on the internet, those are the people that come to my shows, that bump my music. And then there’s people who either don’t know or just don’t care about what I’m doing, and they leave me alone pretty well. And then there’s people that just don’t get what I’m trying to do, y’know, and they’re pretty much restricted to the internet. And that’s so comical to me.

y time I’ve had the first punch I pretch always win, every time I don’t I much always lose, ‘cause I can’t see, ed that element of surprise”

her Ali.

ge your personality, so see somebody acting a because they’re drunk or y’re high, that’s a part of re that being sober helps in a certain perspective. udge people solely for beor solely for being high. I mebody’s being an asshole art of who they are.

om what (little) I’ve heard ur new album, it sounds a sunnier, more optimistic gs being portrayed

i: You think so? There’s ere about slavery and rape, a, divorce. But I hope the

Brother Ali: Well it doesn’t mean that I’m happy go lucky now because, the thing is, when I came out I was struggling to survive, literally. It was that way all the way up until “Undisputed Truth” and really even the first year of Undisputed Truth being out. It wasn’t really until this year that I’ve been able to be a little bit more comfortable, but even now I’m still not wealthy or anything like that. But I can live. I feel like for the next year or couple of years or whatever, I’m gonna be ok. And that’s the first time I’ve ever had that feeling. But once you get out of that situation you celebrate where you’re at, but if you’re any kind of good person, it makes you think automatically about the people that you love that aren’t

ABORT: They lookin at you sideways? Brother Ali: Yeah. I hear or read a lot of things on the internet that no one’s ever said to me, with very few exceptions. Like, I wish people would say, “why are you doing that?” or “why did you do this?” ‘cause I could prolly clear it up for them. I think every time you’re a leader, you know, being a leader, the definition of it is not following what other people want you to do or doing what your heart tells you to do. And so, that’s not always the most common thing in any area of life and the things I’m doing haven’t always been done before. So people don’t always know how to react to it and people feel very defensive sometimes. I made “Uncle Sam Goddamn” and it got characterized as this anti-American song and it’s really not. It’s really me saying I love this country so much that I want it to be what it’s supposed to be and the reality is that we’re not there yet. We’ve never been and we’re not their now. I61 did Abort

Slug and Ant bring to what they do. If they weren’t the leaders of this, these “backpack” dudes would have no connection to the original hip-hop in any way. ABORT: Your early work reflects a hunger to be the best and your multi-syllabic structure was at a new level for it’s time. Your more recent albums seem more oriented towards painting the most honest picture of your subject matter. What’s changed?

BROTHER ALI THE ABORT INTERVIEW Brother Ali: To me it’s about being a leader. The word “progressive” kinda gets thrown around, so there people who you wouldn’t think of as being progressive, but they are leaders in the sense that they’re saying what’s real, y’know what I mean. In a strange way, some of these ultra-gangster dudes are leaders because they’re talking about what’s real. In the same way I think that Murs is a leader, I think Slug is a leader. I think a lot of the people in the underground are leaders and that’s why we’re in the underground. Y’know, obviously Dead Prez, Immortal Technique- these are all friends of mine that I’m naming so I’m a little biased. Boots Riley from The Coup, Saul Williams, Sage Francis.. you know, but I also think Jay-Z is a leader. Jay-Z is probably the president, the Barack Obama of rap, and he’s leading us very well. It’s easy to criticize somebody when they’re in uncharted territory and wish they would do other things. That’s the situation with Barack and that’s the situation with Jay-Z. But I support both them dudes for what they’re trying to do. The fact that they haven’t changed the world yet- and they each have - but the fact that they haven’t completely changed everyrthing around them doesn’t say anything other than people

aren’t choosing to follow them where they’re going. But if it wasn’t for Jay-Z, what would mainstream rap be like? Jay-Z is there to keep those guys lyrical. In their mind, they’re being lyrical to keep up with Jay-Z. To us they’re not lyrical, because we know all about Pharoahe Monch and Rakim and stuff like that. In their mind, they’d all be following Soulja Boy if it wasn’t for Jay-Z. If it wasn’t for Kanye West their music would be less creative. If it wasn’t for 50 they would have less allegiance to the streets than they do - which in my mind are all important things. The raw truth of what’s going on in the neighborhood needs to be to talked about, we need to keep some kind of focus on lyricism, and we need to keep some kind of focus on creativity in the music, and if it wasn’t for those dudes being the leaders, we’d be in pretty bad shape. Same thing with the underground, people take shots at Slug ‘cause he’s the leader in the underground. There’s no other.. you can’t tell me anything different. I’ve been around everybody and I’ve seen everybody’s interaction with their fans and Slug is the undeniable leader of this movement in music. An people take shots, but imagine if he wasn’t here; imagine what it would be like. This allegiance to old school principles that

Brother Ali: My goal now is to not impress people, but to express.. that’s a rap line, “express me, not impress you”. Yeah, there you go, bars, always bars. But I’m sayin, I don’t need to prove to anybody, I’m done trying to prove to people that I’m hip-hop and I’m just trying to express what’s inside me and shape the way that I view the world. ABORT: Can I ask you a personal question? Brother Ali: Yeah ABORT: Have you had to hit anyone since “Dorian”? Brother Ali: I didn’t have to but.. I did. But that’s something that I sorta made a commitment with myself not to do anymore. That’s a defense mechanism that I learned from being and albino and being a target in school. Part of being an albino is that you can’t see very well, so if I didn’t have the first punch in a fight, I lose. Historically, every time I’ve had the first punch I pretty much always win, every

time I don’t I pretty much always lose, ‘cause I can’t see, so I need that element of surprise. When I was first on tour, and not understanding where people were at socially, if I thought there was gonna be a fight, I just punched you. I used to be a much more defensive person, and this music and this new life and just getting older and having kids and falling in love and all that kind of stuff has made me more understanding and not as reactionary as I used to be. So it’s been a long time, but there were a couple after that. I used to really feel like, if a white person said the “N” word it was my job to.. ABORT: Set it straight? Brother Ali: Yeah. And then these people who are new to rap, they don’t really understand everything behind that, and so they’d say it and I’d punch them and it just got kinda ugly. I started to get a reputation for it, which is not something that I want.. It’s been years and years now. I used to have these wristbands. One was NBA and the other one was NFL, and to me the NFL was “Fights in Life”, no fights for the rest of my life, and NBA was “Never Broke Again”, and I used to wear them on the second tour I was on. The first tour was God Loves Ugly with Atmosphere. 3 months. First time outside of my neighborhood, you know what I mean? 3 months on the road, huge shows... just not knowing how to interact with these people. So the second tour I went on was Seven’s Travels, which was the same tour again a year later and I bought those two wristbands.. ABORT: Brother Ali, thank you so much for talking to us! Brother Ali: Thank you, appreciate it.

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Tales from the eastside Photography By- Jamie Sands

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Tales from the eastside Photography By- Chris Webber

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with Devin Townsend


ollowing a 3 year hiatus from touring which saw Devin rack up some serious production credits, quit smoking and drinking and do a fairly serious overhaul on his musical direction, he’s back and wasting no time. Straight out the gate with the new Devin Townsend Project, he’s on the musical warpath again this time with a four-part series. ABORT Magazine’s Alxs Ness sat down with Devin to discuss his upcoming release Addicted, his experience behind the boards and his views on the music industry.

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Alxs Ness: You’re currently working on completing the last half of your four part series for the Devin Townsend Project. Can you tell us where you’re at in that right now? DT: Well, like I say about 2 years ago I wrote a series of records that kind of documented this period of personal change, you know, a lot of things happened at one time – I quit the band, had a baby, quit smoking pot and drinking booze and everything- and so it’s been 3 years of just basically cleaning my head out. During that time, the process, the way I write music tends to be pretty cathartic so whatever’s currently the state of my life always ends up translating some way or another into the music and so that personal period of time ended up being 60-someodd songs, 40 of which were worth listening to and 4 very distinct styles. So the chronology of the records end up illustrating that period and the second one’s just finished and working on the third one. You’re in the recording process right now for Deconstruction? DT: Yeah. I mean my process is a little convoluted because I’ve got a home studio; I start with a demo and that eventually ends up being the final session. So from moment one it’s kind of in the process and I’ve got so many songs that I’ve been working on that this whole thing seems to be just the ongoing thing. I’ve got so many records that I’ve done that here’s the next one right? (Laughs)

I know you’ve been saying for each album you have a distinct band- a different group of musicians for each one- I was wondering, how does that work? Are they bringing something to the table as well or do you have it mapped out beforehand, how it’s going to go? DT: There’s wiggle room but there’s certain elements of it that have no wiggle room because they ultimately affect the albums later on. For example there’s certain parts [where] it’s not going to bother the structure if the drummer has his way with the fills or the bass player plays it up an octave or whatever. For the most part I’ve got really solid vision of what I want and without trying to be a total Nazi about it I tend to, you know…. If I find that my personal relationships suffer because an album needs to be a really specific way I tend to just do it all myself. More then anything else the reason why I do involve so many different people is that it allows me to engage in a social life that I might otherwise not have because all I do is work. Having a ton of musicians in my world is really cool.

About doing the producing thing, have you had any time to do that lately or are you just completely focused on doing your own project right now? DT: Well, while I was sobering up there –not that I ever had a nasty, nasty drug problem: just lots of weed- but while I was getting rid of that, I realized there was a real subtle but real

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You guys go outside and beat each other up and then when you’re finished we’ll track that bass part, alright?


with that were great. But than like anything I worked with some bands that were really annoying.

Do you have some bands lined up now? Are you still open to doing this? DT: I’m open to mixing. I mix a lot of stuff for people. I mix for a label called Solid State; I did a couple things for them lately. I try to book myself so heavily with my own music that there would just be no opportunity for anything else.

It just kinda worked out that way. DT: Yeah. It “worked” out that way. I mean I love working. I love making music. I’ve got so much in my head in terms of material that really it’s simple enough for me to just sit here [points to sound board] and just start and then a month later it’d be done. As long as I’ve got a place to pee and something to eat, I’m good.

Is there any kind of obscure equipment that you enjoy using for mixing or tracking?

profound shift that happened internally for me and during that time I had found that my writing process was so heavily invested in smoking that it took me two years to actually rediscover that it isn’t so heavily invested in drugs that I can’t do it without it. In fact now that I’m clear, my focus is better than it’s ever been. During that time when I was clearing it out I did a bunch of productions. I produced a lot of bands. Most of it was heavy music and I enjoy it. The only thing is its like, I’ve got a 3 year olwd kid and that’s hard as hell for anybody and so babysitting 21 year old kids doesn’t do anything for me either in all honesty. I’m careening towards 40 and I just don’t really have the time, patience or inclination to hold people’s hands throughout whatever personal dramas are involved in inter-band relationships.

Just bring the shotgun with you for the next one. DT: I’m not a really forward dude when it comes to asserting myself I’m just kinda like “you guys go outside and beat each other up and then when you’re finished we’ll track that bass part, alright?” (Laughs)

So you’re saying it was more of a transition thing for you to do producing? DT: Oh yeah, I mean you gotta make a living right? Really, I ‘m qualified to do little else other than music. I mean I can lift things… I found that I could make a better living by

DT: No, it’s what I can afford. I’ve got a C24 which is a nosebleed version of this [points to sound board] so I’m much happier to sit in front of this because this is the goal. Other than that I’ve got a rack full of fancy outboard gear that’s got tubes and shiny lights and things but really, I made a record a few years ago called Ziltoid and for that I used a DigiO2 that cost me $1000, I used a pod that cost me $200 and I used a drum machine. Really, if I have the inclination to make music, I’ll find a way to make it right. If I got better gear it’ll sound better, but if I don’t, I don’t. It doesn’t really matter. Honestly I think like when I did the Ziltoid record, the principal behind making it with such minimal gear was to prove a point in a way; at least to myself. A lot of people [say] I can’t record unless I have a Vintec 6176 replicated blah blah blah with toast and dip kerfufflebuffers or whatever and I’m just kind of like it’s about the music. If I don’t get the music out it’s just going to rot and then I don’t get to do the next stuff. It’s not like “well in the future I choose to do this and this is my goal.” This year is bringing different inspiration than last year and this is what’s coming out; sometimes it’s mellow, sometimes it’s heavy, sometimes it’s weird, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. As long as I have the opportunity to get it out then I’m happy. Through the years I’ve recorded at the Armoury and the Warehouse in LA, in Japan and all these places but I’ve also had a 4-track recorder that I did a bunch of stuff on. It doesn’t matter.

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I would much rather somebody download the stuff and realize they don’t like it then spend $12 and hold me accountable for it.?


What about vocal mics? DT: An SM 7 I use, it’s like a 58. It’s like the SM 58’s big brother. They’re about $550 but you can’t break them up. If you’re doing heavy, heavy vocals, it doesn’t distort, it just gets cooler sounding. Then for clean vocals I’ve tried a lot of mics but the one that always works for me is the AKG 414. But you can break those up if you’re too loud so just one in one hand, one in the other.

As far as the music industry goes, what do you think about 360 record deals and do you think that’s had an effect on producers? DT: Well here’s my view on downloading and 360s: basically, I think music. I don’t really have an option. When I try and stop it just backs up and then when I go again I have too much and no time for family. I think music. I’m incredibly luck to be able to do it, let alone for a living, you know what I mean. I think with that in mind, if someone’s going to put your records out in this climate, they need money. Everybody needs money. In terms of downloading… people are always just like “Oh my god, it’s stealing.” You know what, at the end of the day, I would much rather somebody download the stuff and realize they don’t like it then spend $12 and hold me accountable for it. Also, I’m trying just to get my name out. I don’t make a lot of money but I make enough money to live and that’s awesome. Maybe my aspirations aren’t high enough but I’m happy if I can just keep doing what I do and downloading seems to get the word out. (Laughs) In terms of 360 deals… it’s always an option to put it out yourself. I’ve got my own label, it’s called HevyDevy records and we license to a bunch of people but they’re all non-exclusive so I’ve got some deals that are a bad deal and some deals that are an awesome deal and basically one promotes the other so it doesn’t really matter to me I guess.

So you’re kind of separated from that side in a certain

way. DT: Emotionally. We’d all love to have a million dollars but at the end of the day again, if I can use that phrase over and over, as long as everybody’s eating and I got a kid and he’s happy. I’ve been married for 20 years and we’ve got a good relationship and we’ve got a house. We’ve got a lease on a Toyota Echo and all is well. There’s people who are living in boxes.

How did the E1 thing come together?

DT: The funny thing about Canada is I’ve never had… this might be the 5th interview I’ve ever done in Canada. Really. Look, I’ve got this (shows Canada tattoo on leg). Here’s something for you (Laughs). I like being Canadian, I love Canada but I worked with Steve Vai when I was 19 and I think when I moved to L.A all of a sudden there’s a scene in Canada that doesn’t really exist outside of Canada. I appreciate that because it supports itself but at the same time I’ve never felt really invited into the “club.” That’s cool. That’s cool. E1- I’ve got a manager in Washington, D.C and he set it up. I talked to Eric at E1, he’s awesome. He’s a great guy. Again because I’m Canadian I’d love to make some sort of a statement in Canada but at the same time you go where you’re wanted. It’s not like going with your tail between your legs because all my best friends are from Canada it doesn’t really matter.

You do what you gotta do. DT: You do what you gotta do. You gotta feed the family and if Canada doesn’t want to have anything to do with you then what are you going to do. Sulk? (Laughs)

That’s one option. DT: Yeah I’ve been through it. No one listens after a while.

Allright well that’s all I’ve got for you now. Thanks for your time. DT: Thanks very much for the interview. Good luck guys. Addicted is on Century Media and is currently available worldwide. Check out HevyDevy. com to stay updated! By Alxs Ness Photos by Scott Alexander

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Book Reviews Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters By Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters Quirk Books While Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, the follow-up to 2009’s wildly popular and nerdalicious Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, seems on the surface to simply be a thinly-veiled attempt by a publishing company to cash in on a classic piece of public domain literature, which it totally is, that does not change in any way the fact that it is quite the literary triumph. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters follows the basic plot of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, which of course you, dear reader, have wisely avoided due to its horrific boringness. It chronicles the trials and tribulations of the female members of the Dashwood family (the mother Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in Regency-era England as they are deprived of the comfortable life promised to them with the dying breath of the late Mr. Dashwood by Mr. Dashwood’s son from a previous marriage, Mr. John Dashwood, and his vulturesque wife Fanny. The ladies Dashwood eventually come to reside with a distant relative, Sir John Middleton, as well as his wife and family and the various members of his social circle who live near the Dashwoods’ small home on Pestilent Isle, off the Devonshire coast. Intrigue, as one can imagine, swirls constantly as the girls face the assails of love, loss, rejection, betrayal, and adventure. The only difference, really, between Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and the original is that it takes place in an alternate reality where the world is overrun by fucking sea monsters bent on destroying the human race. Writer Ben H. Winters weaves plot points such as The Devonshire Fang-Beast, Sub-Marine Station Beta, and giant hyper-intelligent lobsters together so seamlessly with whatever tedious crap was in the original that one has a hard time telling his additions apart from the initial prose. Amid the churning chaos of the Alteration, as the characters refer to their monster-filled state of affairs, the youthful, pretty Marianne is courted by both the swashbuckling Willoughby and the facially deformed Colonel Brandon. At the same time the elder, prudent Elinor tries to figure out the meaning of her relationship with the shy, awkward Edward Ferrars as all the while the ominous secrets of the Alteration and Pestilent Isle slowly rear their ugly heads. In an age where originality seems to be dwindling faster than our supply of oil and naturally-breasted porn stars, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters combines violence, gore, and dark humour with Austen’s beautiful (if wearing) writing in a way that while not truly original at least tries and comes pretty close.

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Art by Tattooists: Beyond Flash

Lickshot: A Photo Scrapbook

By Jo Waterhouse Laurence King Publishing

By Ben Watts Princeton Architectural Press

Throughout the last decade the world of tattoo art and culture has exploded straight through the veins of popular mainstream. Television shows like Miami/LA Ink and clothing lines inspired by the art of vintage tattooist (Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy) have helped the masses take a deeper look into an art form that some may consider ‘Low Brow’. While most of the twenty-six artists featured in this book take direct influence from their profession they all feel more freedom to express when working on canvas. The result of this freedom is 124 pages of extraordinary art ranging in themes from traditional flash to abstract imagery.

Clichéd literary critic types expound upon the latest trendy tomes as being “a page turner” or “impossible to put down.” Schlepping through some of these grandiose examples of “compulsive reading” can involve putting your life on hold for days at a time for a payoff as potentially exciting as cleaning the fridge. Finally, photographer Ben Watts presents an alternative to literary bullshit with his latest opus entitled Lickshot: A Photo Scrapbook. This book of photographs will draw you in and defy any attempt you make to put it down without first looking at each and every page. This isn’t a threat, this is a promise!

Guy Aitchison describes his work as “Concrete Abstraction. The notion of an impossible thing that is nonetheless presented in a believable way”. His medium is mostly oil and acrylic on canvas. Aitchinson possesses a strong eye popping style and an interesting use of colors to create and abstract piece with intertwined imagery that seems familiar. Technically, this guy is is a genius and with his wide popularity in the tattoo community, his canvas work is no doubt in high as a demand as his body work.

When Ben Watts isn’t shooting advertising campaigns for Nike, Kodak and Sony Music or contributing to magazines like GQ, Interview, Rolling Stone or VIBE, (hey, we all need a day job), he’s capturing the likes of Heath Ledger, Mary J. Blige, Benicio del Toro, Tom Waits, B. B. King, Guy Pearce, Lance Armstrong, Lou Reed and Jay-Z (to name only a few) in both contrived and candid shots and assembling them into what can only be called a paparazzo’s wet dream. Ben cuts a wide swath with Lickshot and brings together some unlikely subject matter in this beautiful ode to modern imagery and celebrity worship. Whether its Kevin Bacon after too many beers or Nelly humping a ghetto blaster, no one is safe from the ever capturing eye of Ben Watts.

Dalmiro covers illustration board with bold lines, powerful color contrasts and a perfect harmony of typical tattoo imagery with a deeper, darker finish while art by Angelique Houtkamp and Carnie Marnie draw a more obvious inspiration from characters of classic tattoo art. The art of Gillian Goldstein and Cody Meyer are the most outstanding pieces this book has to offer. Goldstein takes religious and female figures and delivers them to paper with impeccable detail and soft finish (check out her piece titled ‘Mother’) while Meyers has a bolder approach in his line work combined with an obvious Japanese influence. From skin to canvas these artists featured within, truly break the barriers of being just a tattooist. Art delivered from professionals who are given the freedom to create what they feel, this book is an epic collection of pieces that should make these artists a proud part of the ‘Low Brow’ community.

By Kassandra Guagliardi

Cool cars, cool grills, cool clothes and cool people is what this book is all about and not one of Ben’s pictures misses the mark. Ben is either a gifted photographer or he takes more pictures than you do in a lifetime to come up with so many quality shots. Also included is an interview conducted by Ingrid Sischy, (editor in chief of Interview Magazine) with Ben that sheds some light on his life and work. Pick it up, but be warned! impossible to put down.

Lickshot: A Photo Scrapbook truly is By Grimm “Say Money” Culhane

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Marijuana is Safer So Why are we Driving People to Drink By Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, Mason Tvert Chelsea Green Publishing Weed activism has gotten much simpler thanks to Marijuana is Safer. Contains everything a budding activist will need to get started in doing their part to end pot prohibition. From knowledge to implementation. Unlike previous efforts at debunking marijuana myths, Marijuana is Safer adds one element previously missing from the doobie legalization debate. Alcohol. By making a comparison to booze, the authors’ easily make their points on why weed should be legal. Police concede, according to the forward written by former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, Friday and Saturday night drunks are the cause of most of their problems. Not pot. Domestic disputes usually are the result of one or both partners drinking. In the UK, some 70 per cent of emergency room hospital visits on Friday and Saturday are from drinking at the pub. Thankfully Marijuana is Safer is an easy to read 181 pages. Don’t think college-cannabis text book.It’s simple to pick up and read in any order. From front to back to middle to end. On the toilet or between bong rips. Complete with notes and index to easily find information when debating a prohibitionist or calling into an afternoon radio show to speak about legalization. Broken up into three simple to read sections. Section One The Choice: Marijuana vs Alcohol sets the historical tone and provides a primer on pot. Laying down good ganja groundwork. Section Two Choice, Interrupted doesn’t get fascinating until page 74. Though the historical info on jazz and joints will be interesting to those who didn’t know pot prohibition came about to control jazz musicians and Mexicans. The chapter ends well by wondering aloud how society is driving us to drink. Demonstrating how athletes Micheal Phelps, Santonio Holmes, Kevin Faulk and most famously Ricky Williams are punished when caught publicly puffing pot, but could be drunk dicks at a party without punishment. Or how regular Americans can show up to work hungover, but with a little remnants of Friday night cannabis session still in their body fat, will result in a job loss. Should their employer opt to do drug testing. Chapter Three Freedom of Choice is the knockout blow to prohibitionists’ arguments. If the first 100 pages haven’t convinced them. From Theory to Practice is where the real gems are for me. Once loaded up with knowledge spreading it to friends and family is the first step in creating change. The authors slowly chipped away at cannabis prohibition in their Colorado community by creating debate. Convincing people marijuana is less harmful than booze. Marijuana is Safer is an excellent toker training manual. Arming activists with knowledge, then ideas on how to tackle prohibition in their community.

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DVD Reviews

DVD Review – Flyin’ Cut Sleeves Directed by Rita Fecher & Harry Chalfant Sleeping/MVD

For everyone who has marveled at the intricacies of early 70’s NYC gang culture, and wondered just how true to life such pre-Hip Hop shock action flicks like “The Warriors” really are, this is the hard edged testament to a time long buried beneath wave after wave of street culture, with ever increasing armament. This hearkens back to an era of baseball bats and lead pipes, of hand painted “colours” on denim and leather, of funk, rock and heavy metal, before there was money in crime, which means essentially pre-crack. Co-Producer Rita Fecher taught in the poverty stricken schools of the South Bronx from the late 60’s into the 70’s, becoming almost a family member to many of the kids who went on to become the most deeply involved in gang activity – and family is the operative word, for that is exactly the slang used for these collectives. Lacking support and discipline at home, these youths turned to each other, and with many of their leaders being veterans already, the structure became essentially military. Yet even though most initiations involved “jumping in”, or getting beaten on by all other members, many gangs went on to become organs of community support, influenced first by the Black Panthers and Latin Kings, and then by the Young Lords, whose constant presence on the block is likened by one observer to a host of Native Americans constantly watching from a ridge.

judging them for choosing the gang life. This era of pre-Hip Hop, pre-“gangsta” gang culture is worthy of much further study, as it marks a turning point from the methodical politicization of the people through the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary organizations, to a time when the potential for gang culture to destroy whole communities by keeping them in a state of constant warfare became the State’s preferred method of oppressing its underclass. While groups like the Latin Kings became increasingly political, only to be ruthlessly persecuted by the police, most gangs seem to have become agents of personal aggrandizement and civil destruction with the arrival of crack money.

By Dave “Corvid” McCallum

These are stories of waves of Puerto Rican immigrants whose ready cash, made by selling family landholdings back home, quickly disappeared in the barrios of New York; of the Ghetto Boy’s Black Bennie, killed while trying to broker peace between two rival gangs; of kids caught in a deadly turf war while trying to improve conditions for their people. While conditions for the present generation have become steadily worse, with community centers closing down and an arms race that now has pre-teens strapped with semi-automatic weaponry, it’s amazing to see how many survivors of the 70’s have become community leaders, teachers and role models to youth caught in the streets, able to counsel kids without

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DVD Review – Gnaw

DVD Review – Seventh Moon

Yorkshire blood pudding anyone? Young adults go on a trip to the countryside, the characters unfold, the snob, the bitch, the Goth, the geek, yes it’s all been done, but the Brits have put their own twist on it and it works. For the most part.

Here we have director Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project series) taking a stab at an Asian-inspired look into what could be a part of The Descent franchise. Pale-white ghastly ghouls who are bald and like flesh and who live in caves, are prancing about rural Chinese provinces, snatching up live offerings from the locals, which occur every seventh moon. Amy Smart and Dennis Chan star as the newlyweds who decide to hoof it over to China for some cultural awareness on their honeymoon, and get caught in the “Hungry Ghost Festival”. Nothing exceptionally original here, effects are minimal, but the spook factor gets a 6 as far as, well… spookiness.

Directed by Gregory Mandry Dark Sky Films

Buried in the forest lurks a sinister evil, one who takes the subtleties of Hostel with its “torture reigns supreme” attitude and churns out some fleshy ground round. They could have called this “Gnawstel”. At least the Hollywood cheese has been left off this bloody burger and we get pure Grade “A” gore. Our killer is unmasked early in the picture so no guessing and that’s a good thing as we can get down to business. The kids nestle in the Bed & Breakfast and it brings back memories of Farmer Vincent in Motel Hell as a good chuckle/ reference and it all comes complete with a comfort-food cooking mum to keep you all warm at night. Directed by firsttimer Gregory Mandry, surely he and the writers wanted you to save plenty of room for dessert as there are more than enough Steak & Kidney jokes to go around as food intently plays a “roll” in this. A maggoty buttered one at that. Texas Chainsaw comparisons will most certainly be made as a bit more as an influence, but not a rip-off and the Dark Sky Film team actually pull this off. Time to sop up the gravy! DVD Bonus: Audio commentary by director Gregory Mandry “Making of” Featurette

Directed by Eduardo Sanchez Ghost House

Great little rental if you have your missus in tow, however the plot thins quickly, the storyline is predictable and the blood does not flow nearly enough. Nocturnal cave-dwelling skinheads who are doused in Robin Hood flour has The Descent comparisons come to mind more than once. Shame, as this could have been a keeper had the script let itself run wild, beyond her trying to rescue her soon-to-be kidnapped husband. Love is in the air, but the horror is not. Not much more to be said without spoiling. Also the “too-dark-use your imagination” bit (as with Blair Witch) is quite present and quite annoying, as you already know who and what – the goblins are . So this becomes useless, almost instantly. Hopefully it will be 7 more moons before Sanchez decides to steal the public’s money during the ‘Hungry Director for Dollars Festival”

By E. S. Day

By E. S. Day

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DVD Review - ZZ TOP Double Down Live: 1980-2008 Eagle Vision

The last time I remember listening to ZZ Top was the night I got shit-faced in the basement of the Zanzibar tavern in Toronto with 2 of the band members. The boys had just played a sold out show at Maple Leaf Gardens and had ventured forth into the legendary Yonge St. abyss of sin, where the manger promptly shut the bar down 1-½ hours early to let the boys enjoy themselves. While rushing perverted patrons out the front door, the Brother of Beards: Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill (minus the non-bearded Frank Beard) found their way to the basement area bar, which had nothing. Just a bar. No girls, no distractions…no nothing. That’s exactly what they wanted. Even though the entire strip club upstairs was at their disposal, they wanted nothing more than a bottle Jack Daniels and some good ‘ol boy conversation. “Scott! Fetch us some tunes” yelled Billy, I shat myself at the mere thought of being ordered by a living legend of Blues Rock Royalty and ran to get a ghetto blaster while pocketing the first CD I could find within an arms reach. “The Sky is Crying by Stevie Ray Vaughn?” I said looking for a seal of approval “Perfect!” said Billy, “Now we can drink” and drink they did. A few road stories told, some reminiscing about Stevie Ray and it was off to Hamilton for another sold out show with George Thorogood as support. Wicked. However, on the way out they stole the infamous “NO HARLEY-DAVDISON WEAR OR INSIGNIA OF ANY KIND” sign on the wall. It had been a fixture in the bar since the 70’s and now it was gone. Better them have it than it going in the garbage during the renovations that came later that decade. What does has to do with the DVD you ask? Plenty. That experience not only proves that a trio of shit-kicking barroom bravado inducing musicians truly live and practice what they preach, but are real rock stars in all their glory, and prove that through every track on this DVD, plus I needed an excuse to tell that story. The first DVD “Then” was captured live Germany on the Rockenpalt TV show in 1980, the band showcases their musicianship with younger more energized renditions of classics such “I’m Bad I’m Nationwide”, “Heard it on the X” (done brilliantly) and more. The grey hairs are not showing, but the world’s most famous rock and roll beards are and you cant help but think back to a time when true blues still had a mainstream following, instead of an older obscure one. DVD 2 showcases the “Now” with footage on the road during their 2008 European tour and has the gents still kicking more arse than ever before. Kicking off with “Got Me Under Pressure” from the their best-selling album Exterminator. Of course “Tush” is there, as is “La Grange” and a bevy of classics that will more than satisfy any ZZ Top fan although the nostalgic Disc 1 is a rare and thoroughly enjoyable throwback, that leaves you craving for more the true Kings of Outlaw Rock n’ Roll.

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Film Reviews Film Review – A Serious Man Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen Alliance Films

The Coen Brothers return with what is indoubtedly their blackest of black comedies entitled A Serious Man. Set in Minnesota in 1967, A Serious Man tells the hard luck story of Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) a Jewish physics professor and family man. His wife Judith (Sari Lennick) wants to divorce him, his son Danny (Aaron Wolff) smokes too much pot, his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is abrasive and demanding, his brother Arthur (Richard Kind) has a gambling problem and a Korean-born student of his, Clive (David Kang) is framing him for a better grade. What’s a besot upon man supposed to do when life goes from bad to worse to totally fucked up? Well, in this latest Coen Brothers offering, besides visiting several Rabb he doesn’t do much. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man is a serious departure from films such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski or any other Coen Brothers’ film for that matter. More like Fargo in it’s composition and execution, (which is where the comparisons end) A Serious Man is as deadpan as movies get, eliciting laughs out of the sheer awkwardness and discomfort of the characters and the situations they find themselves in. If you enjoy laughing at the trials and tribulations of others, watching them squirm as their problems go from bad to worse, then you will probably enjoy this movie. Although Coen Brothers fans are going to eat this film up like so much knish, those less familiar with their work may find this film rather dull, slow paced and ultimately unsatisfying. This isn’t surprising because none of the characters are particularly likeable and their self imposed “woe is me” lives are insular and dull. Still, this isn’t a poorly made film and a strong performance at the box office is all but guaranteed for as flawed as this film may be, its still 70-75% better than most of the shit out there presently. By Grimm “Pass That Fucker” Culhane

Film Review – American Artifact – The Rise of American Rock Poster Art Directed by Merle Becker FreakFilms Inc.

Since the first “Wanted” poster was nailed to a post in the Wild West, the eye catching, multi-colour silkscreen print has been a hallmark of American popular art, and it is on this rich tradition that the relatively recent craft of the Rock poster is built. This eye-popping and historically fascinating film documents the evolution of the poster, from early Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis ads that now look better than Warhol, to the “lysergically” altered perceptions of the San Francisco 60’s, to the black and white Kinko’s specials that mark the dawn of Punk Rock, to the retro-futuristic work inspired by 90’s Alternative and Indie Rock bands. Witness the marvels of Wolfgang’s Vault – legendary concert promoter Bill Graham’s treasure trove of rare and vintage 60’s posters, and the meticulous care lavished over these priceless works of mindfuckery. From Rick Griffin’s famous “flying eyeball” image, beloved of hippie love children and shermaddled suicide punks alike, to the deliberate warping of convention by Victor Moscoso, who managed to unwittingly achieve the desired results by turning the rules of poster making on their heads – using bright contrasting colours, and making the image as dense and seemingly illegible as possible. Detroit’s Gary Grimshaw relates his city’s trend towards highly detailed and exacting design to its great history of craftsmanship in all trades, and explains how for many the flyers are the only documentation of the socially evolutionary events they advertise, encapsulating the spirit of the early MC5 shows in a visual language of revolution. Just as burnout 60’s artists had drooled their way halfway through the 70’s, the Punk Rock explosion came with bands like The Avengers, who made posters out of simple photocopier collage. Inspired by the Dadaist movement of the 1920’s, their take on revolution was to do something that anyone else could do, and thus inspire millions of others to start their own

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bands. Just as in the 60’s, these posters and flyers speak a cryptic visual language meant only for the initiated, and record a movement now lost to posers. Texas legend Frank Kozick kicks off the modern era with his often gut-wrenchingly funny distortions of Pop Culture icons like Yogi Bear and Bettie Page, in a 90’s drenched in cynical self -destruction typified by bands such as Nirvana and the Stone Temple Pilots. In a world where cute teddy bears carry handguns and hot devil babes chop off limbs, the mind expanding realms of the 60’s give way to the current American nightmare. The narrator’s occasionally lackadaisical tone aside, this film is a rich visual and historical experience worthy of repeated viewing. The blueprints laid by the artists of the 60’s are still paradigmatic today, and many of the styles have clearly influenced the development of Graffiti lettering styles. Now that most posters are made in Photoshop by 20 year olds, only to be torn down in days by Community Block Watches, and many events exist only on Facebook, such artifacts have become rare indeed, which may also mean that those who choose to step up to the challenge of maintaining and pushing forward the art of the Rock poster will shine through the shit that much more brilliantly. By Dave “Corvid” MCallum

Film Review – Let The Right One In Directed by Tomas Alfredson Magnolia Pictures

Let The Right One In is a horror film that doesn’t try to scare you, and it works completely. Set in 1982 Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm, it follows the relationship between Oskar, an angst-ridden pre-teen, and Eli, the 12-year-old vampire girl who moves in next door. Shot in a style that conveys the harshness of Sweden’s cold, bleak winter landscape, the entire movie seems numbed by the winter snows that it depicts. The film opens with Oskar alone in his room acting out some kind of strange fantasy with a knife, stabbing the air and talking to himself. At the same moment Eli and the old man who seems to be her father, Hakan, move in next door with few belongings. Eventually, reluctantly, Eli and Oskar start “going steady.” Director Tomas Alfredson lets his central theme rest around the loneliness of isolation and the redemption (to a degree) possible through love. Oskar is a very nice boy, very polite and well meaning, but his creepy tendencies make him an easy target for Conny, the bully, and his cronies. At first Conny seems like a quite likable character, bullying Oskar by always hilariously telling him to “squeal like a pig.” We eventually see Conny for the sociopath he is during a disturbing scene where he forces two of his henchmen to whip Oskar with a switch, one of them succumbing to tears in the process. This helps form the relationship between Oskar and Eli, as she tries to help him awaken his innate savagery and stand up for himself and he tries to both convince her to stop killing and come to terms with the fact that she can’t. Their relationship is the strangest and most central part of the film. While never overtly sexual, Eli and Oskar definitely engage in activities on the fringe of propriety, such as Eli jumping naked into bed with Oskar, cavorting together whilst Eli is wearing only a man’s t-shirt, and of course their first, blood-soaked kiss. And all the while the bodycount climbs higher.

This all seems perfectly normal, of course, as the two kids’ brilliant, mature acting coupled with their very adult wardrobes make it seem as if they are miniature adults instead of children. Let The Right One In is not a scary movie in that it makes you jump with loud noises and sudden movements, it isn’t satisfied with that. Let The Right One In disturbs you with its realistic content and brutal imagery, giving you that split-second pause, as you unlock your door coming home from the theatre. By A.W. Reid

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Film Review – Pandorum Directed by Christian Alvart Alliance

Marketed as just another “in space no one can hear you scream” movie, Pandorum will turn out to be a pleasant surprise to sci-fi fans, as it is much more than just a deep-space horror. Visual-art-wise the setting of the movie is somewhat close to the now classic Event Horizon, although Christian Alvart’s creation has surpassed it noticeably, considering just how reinforced it is by the mind-gripping storyline. As with any complex and interesting plot, there are gaping holes in the concept, but at the same time they are skillfully mended by other parts of it. In the end of the movie you are left with numerous little questions and logical inconsistencies but it all falls into place as neatly as any other distant future sci-fi flick. Literally beginning in complete darkness, both physical and mental, the viewer is presented with little or no information about what’s going on, but the time for questions is yet to come as Bower (Ben Foster) finds something has gone completely wrong aboard the spaceship, destined to be the hope of humanity. Wandering in the graphically perfect dead corridors to a killer dark ambient soundtrack (which will remind you of Deutsch Nepal, Coph Nia and Closing the Eternity), Bower discovers them (corridors) to be very much alive and hungry. The moment you begin thinking this is a yet another carnivorous human mutant movie, Pandorum presents you with new and new mysteries and characters. With a veteran of the scene on board, Dennis Quaid (Payton) and the aspiring Antje Traue (Nadja), who will probably carry a subconscious resemblance to the Resident Evil series hero, the actor line-up fits Pandorum like a glove fits a hand. The details are pretty much too good to give away. Whatever you think about the concept in the end, whether or not you really like the big picture and the morality issues presented, Pandorum will still remain a high quality sci-fi/ horror/post-apocalyptic hybrid blend, increasingly tough to find these days. Allow yourself to be taken away by the plot and dig deeper into it. Who knows what you will find. A hint: the mutants are probably the least of everybody’s concern.Pandorum is above everything else a work of art. By arceon

Film Review – Prom Night In Mississippi Directed by Paul Saltzman Emerging Pictures/Kinosmith

Unbelievable as it may seem to today’s urbane, politically correct viewers, the entrenched racism and segregation of a previous era are alive and well in Charleston Mississippi, hometown of widely respected actor and activist Morgan Freeman. Incensed upon discovering that the local High School still maintained a tradition of segregated black and white Homecoming events for its graduates, he first inquired of the students whether or not they would prefer an integrated prom. With a resounding yes from at least ninety percent of the students, Freeman made the magnanimous offer to foot the bill for the entire event. What resulted was not only a new tradition of integrated proms (while some of the white students still attended a white-only event, paid for by parents…), but a profound dialogue on the deep issues of racial segregation and longstanding prejudice. While white students rarely express overt bigotry, they echo the sentiments of their anachronistic parents who may threaten savage beatings on kids who are seen with black youth (and god forbid they be of the other sex…), or merely try to politely frame their hillbilly worldview in terms of “respecting differences”, claiming that “god made everyone different and if we mixed we’d all be the same!”. As convinced as they may sound to themselves, there is clearly a self imposed ban on logic and compassion that even a hardened redneck father can admit to. “Just don’t ask me to change, and we’ll do fine” – decent country manners indeed, but when the horrifying spectres of slavery and lynchings are cast into view, this is exactly the morbidly inhuman attitude of the past massas passed on into new vessels. The youth of 2008 however have a different perspective. While there are few biracial couples in the school, most students express interest in dating someone of another race, and yet are mostly constrained by their families. Black kids are told to avoid white so as to stay away from potential trouble, while one white student (who concealed his face to protect his family) speaks candidly of his people’s overt hatred and his own compassion for them in their ignorance. Just as the white-only prom goes humourously awry, with awkward dancing and a drunken brawl over a girl, their

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Film Review – Surrogates Directed by Jonathan Mostow Touchstone Pictures

Imagine a world where you don’t have to rely on your body. A world where disability, appearance and age doesn’t matter. Finally, a world where sex is not a matter of importance anymore. Existence through a surrogate, a robot under you control, that can transfer exact feelings and perceptions directly to your brain, is an alluring option and everybody’s doing it. own insular culture is just too surrounded by the “other” to ever feel at ease and away from conflict. As Morgan Freeman so eloquently puts it – “if I choose to hate blue eyed, blond haired people, I’m doomed. Doomed means you can have no future, can never truly be happy…because there’s just too many of you!!!”. As for the event itself, it is a raging success, complete with Rock band, Crunk style Hip Hop crew, DJ, dance offs, and general exuberance. Parental fears of potential violence are quelled by the overall joyful vibe, making this a true feel-good film, one that could even be shown to younger children (if you’re not afraid to let your joy be framed in hard edged truth…), and should definitely be shown in High schools around the world. Now if such a film were made in Canada, perhaps in a small northern town right next to a Native Reservation, would people believe segregation is also alive and well in the Great White (?!) North? Well they’d better, because the South Afrikan Apartheid system was based on the Canadian Native Reserve and Residential School System, and genocide, eugenics, and overall population control have always been the mandate of this colonial system, and that’s real talk. By Dave “Corvid” McCallum

Even though questions of morality naturally arise, the crime rate is down, everybody’s happy. You can’t die while you’re connected, or at least that’s what everybody thinks. So when Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) finds himself looking at a homicide with an unknown weapon that shouldn’t, can’t exist, he is pretty damned puzzled. Not one, but two homicides, including the son of Canter (James Cromwell), creator of surrogates, naturally at first point to the robotfree patches of the world as it is, so called reservations where people live in their real bodies. Guided by a rather cliché character, Prophet, they are officially at war with the new way of life. But as it turns out the the story is so twisted that you don’t even get a chance to look at your popcorn while you’re eating it. Tom Greer lost a child, his wife never leaves the house, always uses the surrogate and his personal state is heavy suffering. In the course of the investigation he loses his surrogate and is forced to use his own body to solve the case, being suspended to top it off. Not to give anything away, let’s turn to actors’ work. There’s nobody that stands out, Surrogates probably won’t receive mighty praise and in general is just an average sci-fi flick. Very much Mostow style, it’s simple and straightforward, but if you think about it, it’s not that simple and almost everything makes sense. The ending doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but in the end you feel a great deal of satisfaction. If you recall Brainstorm, you wouldn’t say it was sophisticated too. Not until you thought about it the second time. And then the genius revealed itself.Choose your surrogate. By Arceon

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Film Review – The Fourth Kind Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi Maple Pictures

Another interesting entry in the science fiction/ thriller/horror genre comes in the form of director Olatunde Osunsanmi’s documentary reenactment called The Fourth Kind. Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas and Will Patton star in this terrifying fact based thriller involving ongoing unsolved mysteries plaguing the city of Nome, Alaska. Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) believes residents are the victims of alien abductions (or encounters of “the fourth kind”) after several patients share similar details of disturbing occurrences. With the help of friend and fellow psychologist Dr. Abel Campos (Elias Koteas), Dr. Tyler begins videotaping sessions and exposes evidence of alien abduction in her terrified patients. When one patient returns home after a particularly disturbing session while under hypnosis and kills his wife and children before killing himself, Sheriff August (Will Patton) decides these sessions have to stop, but the cap has been removed and the genie is not going back in this bottle. Interspersed with terrifying actual patient footage as well as interview clips between the real Dr. Tyler and director Osunsanmi, The Fourth Kind is a first rate scare-fest that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. This is an atmospheric film that relies more on the feeling of impending doom and creeping suspense rather than a high startle factor and gut churning sound effects. Unlike recent horror releases that rely on a single camera and a long, boring plot in which nothing really happens, The Fourth Kind has chills around every corner. As Dr. Abigail Tyler, Milla Jovovich shows off her acting chops with an excellent performance as a woman right on the edge of sanity. The other stand out here is Will Patton as Sheriff August. His frustration at the situation here is more than palpable as he portrays a man who’s not used to having things beyond his power to control. Director Osunsanmi has crafted a taut, creepy sci-fi/thriller that does everything a good horror film should do, short of walking up and slapping you in the face. If real terror is what you crave then The Fourth Kind should not be missed! By Grimm “I wet myself again!” Culhane

Film Review – The Men Who Stare at Goats Directed by Grant Heslov Maple Pictures

Amidst the foolish remakes and faulty reboots and movies that are just plain full retard comes something Hollywood has seemingly forgotten, an entertaining and original idea. Director Grant Heslov helms this hilarious take on the Jon Ronson’s non-fiction bestseller about a reporter caught up in uncovering an experimental U.S. military unit designed to generate a legion of psychically empowered Jedi warriors. Inspired by the top secret true story, The Men Who Stare at Goats is so unbelievable it just has to be true. Ewan McGregor plays the hapless reporter Bob Wilton determined to get over the loss of his girlfriend by throwing himself into the Iraqi conflict. On his way to Bagdad, Bob encounters Lyn Cassady (Academy Award® winner George Clooney) who claims he was part of a military experiment to create a legion of “Warrior Monks” (called The New Earth Army) with boundless psychic powers, the ability to pass through solid objects and capable of killing things (especially goats) simply by staring at them. Bob is intrigued (and only a little “very” skeptical) and when the program’s founder Bill Django (Oscar® nominee Jeff Bridges) goes missing, he and Cassady set out to find him.

With strong performances from all involved and an original and truly hilarious script, The Men Who Stare at Goats is easily the funniest film you’ll see this year. Besides, how often do you get to peek inside the truly ridiculous nature of the U.S. military while holding your sides in gales of laughter? By Grimm “Warrior Monk” Culhane

What begins as a rather high concept exposé of the apparent madness at the heart of U.S. military intelligence quickly becomes a hilarious and masterfully convoluted parody penned by Peter Straughan and based on the book and TV documentary of the same name. Not only will George Clooney’s presence bring back memories of 3 Kings, but the humour, intelligence and a quality supporting cast (including two-time Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey as the envious psychic Larry Hooper) will only enhance that comparison.

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CD Reviews AC/DC

Backtracks 1 & 2 Columbia/Sony Music No one, not even Bon Scott himself, could have predicted the career insurgence AC/ DC has had over the past twelve months. Defying all odds by snubbing iTunes and releasing its first CD of new material in over eight years exclusively through WalMart, the Aussie rockers rose once again to stratospheric heights with global concert sell-outs and a monster hit with Black Ice in 2009. So what better time than to strike while the iron is hot as, not coincidentally just in time for the holidays, a box set of rarities and live material finds its way to consumers. Backtracks, the band’s second compilation following 1997’s ill-received Bonfire, is being released in several formats ranging from a stripped-down two-CD/DVD affair available everywhere for around $30 to a lavish, multi-disc behemoth that can be purchased only through AC/DC’s website and includes a hardcover book, a vinyl LP and other trinkets housed in an actual working guitar amplifier that will set Angusphiles back almost $250. The first CD features rarities, b-sides, soundtrack cuts and songs found only the original Australian releases of AC/DC’s early catalogue. Naturally, things are hit-andmiss but fortunately the “hit” definitely outweighs the “miss.” “Big Gun,” originally found on the Last Action Hero soundtrack, is a big, booming rocker similar in vein to “Thunderstruck,” while “Stick Around” rips along with Bon Scott’s youthful snarl and Angus Young’s trademark riffs. Many listeners will revel in the blues-y “Crabsody In Blue,” while others will find just as much to love in the punchy “Cyberspace.” On the other hand, “Love Song,” a slow

ballad featuring a crooning Bon Scott, is as uncomfortable as it sounds, but in the band’s favor will do plenty to silence its critics who have dogged AC/DC’s threechord rock for over 35 years. The second disc really heats up, though, with live performances drawn mostly from the Brian Johnson-led era of the band. Covering 1977 through 1991, fans are treated to the obvious staples (“Hells Bells,” “Back In Black”) but the inclusion of live versions of deep album cuts like “Guns For Hire” and “This House Is On Fire” is what ultimately makes Backtracks special. As an added bonus, a DVD featuring all of AC/DC’s music videos from 1993 to 2009 is included, adding a third volume to the band’s 2005 release, Family Jewels. Some added live tracks and a pair of “making of” featurettes further sweeten the deal. For the casual fan, there probably isn’t too much of a draw here but AC/DC diehards will have plenty to drool over as the band’s vaults continue to be mined with Backtracks. Besides the collectors who undoubtedly own mint copies of the band’s original Albert Productions LPs, hearing these songs for the first time all spit-polished and remastered—many on CD for the first time ever—will be enough of an incentive to part with a couple hours’ pay. By Sean Cowie

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Black Cobra

Chronomega Southern Lord Records Yet another example of the “less is more” band scenario presently populating the musical landscape is Los Angeles, California’s Black Cobra. By “less” I’m referring to the stripped down sound of two guys, a guitar, a drum kit and a whole shwack of effects pedals and by “more” I mean their latest album Chronomega and the guttural and sweeping Sludge/Doom perfection found significantly therein. Together since 2002, Black Cobra manages to pump out album after amazing album of timeless, riff heavy durge that comfortably bridges many genres without relying too much on one sound, one effect or one monotonous vocal pattern. Guitarist/Vocalist Jason Landrian and drummer Rafael Martinez carve a Stoner/Doom/Sludge niche for themselves with songs such as “Negative Reversal” and it’s droney wankfulness (yes, new words, don’t bother looking them up) and the sweet, symphonic intro flowing effortlessly into the pounding prowess of “Catalyst.” Merely two examples of the nine solid tracks found on Chronomega that (unlike some modern “stoner” related outfits), collectively refuse to disappoint, mirror predictability or carry the listener to lengths of thorough and utter boredom. Let’s face it, for two guys with two instruments (and maybe a few effects pedals) this is some heavy, heavy shit! The only marginally similar band to Black Cobra would have to be noise-core preponderants Lightning Bolt, but what sets Black Cobra apart are their tight song arrangements, clean production values and a gut level Sludge/Doom quality that grabs the listener and refuses to let go. Worth the investment of multiple listenings, Chronomega carves Black Cobra a well deserved place in the annals of the Sludge/Doom genre and shows the depth of a band not satisfied with

merely regurgitating the same sounding album again and again. By Grimm “Squiffy” Culhane

Del The Funky Homosapien and Tame One Parallel Uni-Verses Gold Dust

The powerful union of Hieroglyphics Del The Funky Homosapien and Tame One from Artifacts is a force not to be reckoned with. Gritty styles of the East meet the creative flow of the West; Parallel Uni-verses is everything in between. From the brassy up-beat tempo of “Intro (Magic)” to the airy outro of “Gaining Ground”, Parallel Uni-Verses has the comforting familiarity of a classic hip-hop album while maintaining lyrical originality over fresh beats. The duo gives out props to the greats in hip-hop on “Flashback” before showing off witty wordplay on “We Taking Over” that has Tame spitting “you critics can get the dick like my button fly popped open”. Del tells a grimy tale on “Teddy” with dirty verses containing rhymes like “I’m sitting pretty in a bucket with two chickens that trick and suck dick” over a beat that sounds like a Dick Tracy movie score. “Keep It Up” proves Del has a flow that can’t be fucked with while Tame owns “The Franchise” with his on-point verse rhyming “My influence is wild style/and add a New Jersey steez for OG’s like Scott La Rock and Frosty Freeze”. Unlike most hip-hop albums lately, the absence of flashy production, dozens of guest appearances and most importantly auto-tune is part what gives this album the raw inventiveness that makes it so outstanding. While both MC’s are unique in their tone and lyrical content they complement each other with a like-minded style of spitting unconventional rap flows. Combined with solid production from Parallel Thought and smooth groove based beats Parallel UniVerses brings together a well paired match to induce the vibe of “that back in the day Abort 87 shit”.

CD Reviews

Continued Devin Townsend Project

Addicted HevyDevy Records/Century Media/E1 (Canada) Let’s face it, for most artists who decide to sober up, the music they produce in their new founded clear-headedness becomes far removed from (and often inferior to) the music they produced with the help of their “friends.” Not to say that drugs are necessary to write good music, but if an artist usually writes in this way, removing one of the main ingredients in their process can lead to substandard results. An extreme exception to this rule is the recent work from the now sober Devin Townsend. Although he’s admitted that after quitting drugs he had some trouble getting back into writing, after 3 years away from the rigors of touring and fronting an active band, he’s managed to produce an abundance of quality material which he compiled into a four-part series consisting of the now-released Ki, the upcoming Addicted and the later Deconstruction and Ghost. While each track contributes to the overall feel of the album, some that really stand out include “Awake,” “Resolve,” the beautifully powerful “Supercrush” and the Ziltoid cover “Hyperdrive” which Anneke van Giersbergen –who helps take on vocal duties – sings solo. While Addicted might take a couple run through to hook you, once it does it just gets better and better with each listen; it has a kind of reverse effect- the more you listen to it the less repetitive it gets. This can be attributed to the insane amount of subtle details Devin has worked into each track, many of which seem to emerge as your ear gets accustomed to the music. While different from his work in both Strapping Young Lad and the Devin Townsend Band, there are many times when Addicted feels like a merging of the two, this time with more subtle and delicate layers woven in. The wall of sound is still present but in a more intricate and less extreme form as it was with Strapping. Shifting moments of introspection, power, uncertainty and determination create a different kind of intensity. Nonetheless, no matter which band or character he’s assumed throughout his career, Devin Townsend’s music has always retained an unquestionably unique feel; Addicted is no different.

Addicted is in Stores worldwide November 17, 2009. By Alxs Ness

Dizzee Rascal Tongue N’ Cheek Dirtee Stank

One thing’s for sure from the opening bars of “Bonkers”, with it’s heavy club beat courtesy of Armand Van Helden – Dylan’s on a hype ting now!!! From the tortured self analysis of “Boy In Da Corner”, to the paranoia saturated “Showtyme”, to the ballistic salvos of “Maths and English”, Dizzee’s true aim has always shone through the fog and grime of the South London boroughs – to rise above the shite and have a bloody good time doing it! In short, his latest gem “Tongue ‘N Cheek” turns the colour tones up even brighter, and sounds like the man’s spent the last six months at Ibiza on MDMA scooping girlfriends and beating down consternate boyfriends. Weighing in at a breezy eleven tracks with no filler, Dylan the Villain spits his characteristic chronic cockroach flows over a palette of ever brighter sounds that could be easily mixed into a house/jungle/drum n’ bass set to provide unexpected lyrical terror, as the hypeness of the beats in no way compromises his venom. “Road Rage” gives vent to his pent up adrenaline better than Ludacris ever did – for those that don’t recall he was popped for just such an incident several months ago, in which he pulled not a gat but a fucking baseball bat! (just like he said he would in “Pussyole”…) The chart topper “Dance Wiv Me” bumps in a way that no American Hip Hop party track ever has, melting panties across the E.U. while North Americans rock to “Lollipop”. “Freaky Freaky” would give 2 Live Crew pause for concern, while “Can’t Tek No More” taps into Dizzee’s Jamaican roots for some social conscience from a modern day B-boy. “Chillin Wiv Da Man Dem” is a wickedly mellow ode to bromance (no homo…okay, I didn’t just say that…), for times when your dick’s too sore to fuck and you’re better off with some homies, some herbs and some Playstation. “Dirtee Cash” and “Money Money” are the type of hustler’s anthems that truly justify the pursuit of materialism – remember of course the story of young Dizzee’s rise from the South Ends to a level beyond what an American market could ever provide. “Holiday” is the ultimate house/rap banger complete with four on the floor breakdown guaranteed

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Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer Sudden Death Records to have the ladies sweating (and I can’t believe I’m approving the mix of Hip Hop and house, but it is Dizzee…). Six years into a career that promises at least a good twenty more of good tunes, Dizzee Rascal’s dabbling in contemporary electronica and the DJ party music scene has yielded a unique hybrid that has grown well beyond it’s roots in grime and dubstep. Clearly not giving a fuck what the critics will say, this album is for the people, a manifesto of party vibes to lift us above all the hustling and grafting so intimately described on his first three albums. While he’s always had a wicked sense of humour to keep things bouncing, “Tongue N’ Cheek” offers up equal doses of both – an untouchably precise lyrical flow coupled with his irreverent and increasingly filthy minded subject matter. Dylan’s on a hype ting now, and if it’s true that all he thinks about is “sex and violence” and “money, money, money, girls girls, cash cash”, doesn’t the kid who was stabbed ten times in the chest two weeks after his first release deserve it all, and more, for fuck’s sake?

By Dave “Corvid” McCallum

If you don’t enjoy hockey, beer, and punk rock, chances are you aren’t going to enjoy Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer, the new album from grizzled Vancouver-based punk legends D.O.A.. But upon listening to the album, one gets the feeling that if you don’t like those things the boys of D.O.A. would prefer if you fucked right off anyways, eh. Bursting at the seams with Canadiana, Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer is a collection of songs from previous albums as well as a few previously unreleased tracks and plays like an ode to the most gloriously badass sport ever conceived: hockey. D.O.A. doesn’t re-invent the wheel here and they probably aren’t trying to. What you get with this album is just what you would expect: 13 simple, solid punk tunes that pay homage to Canada’s national pastime, which is of course getting loaded, throwing on a pair of skates, and kicking the shit out of your buddies on a pristine sheet of ice. The songs’ style is distinctly old-school with relatively slow, singalong-style rhythms and the songs all seem to tell a story in one way or another, whether it being about beating on some hockeychallenged nerd like on “Pencil Neck Geek” or having no choice but to break into a brewery for some wobbly pops in “Beer Liberation Army”.

Tom Connors’ “The Hockey Song”, their cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business” and innumerable others like calling out the names of Canada’s great classic bands on the fiddle-driven “When Power Came to Canada” and the awesome liner notes which read like hockey game recaps and mention greats like Toe Blake and Stu “The Grim Reaper” Grimson. While you’re not going to find anything mind-blowing on this album it plays as the perfect soundtrack to listen to with your bro’s or broettes during those Saturday double-headers while you’re shotgunning beers in your living room during the intermissions. If you’re a die-hard D.O.A. fan chances are you already have most of these songs so it isn’t really a must-have unless you are a collector. But if you’re a fan of punk, hockey and beer you could do a hell of a lot worse and

References to Canada and Canadian culture run rampant, such as their sped-up, catchy cover of Stompin’

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CD Reviews



Unexpected Guests Gold Dust Media Back on his usual grind of releasing several albums per year, this time DOOM (yes, it’s just straight DOOM now…) drops a best of style collection of collabos, b-sides and hard to find tracks to satisfy heads fiending for another dose of head spinning lyricism from the one and only Supervillain. Strung together mixtape style; with superhero movie snippets by the villain himself, this is a welcome addition to one of the most thoroughly entertaining catalogs in Hip Hop. The proceedings commence with the De La Soul posse cut “Rock Co. Kane Flow”, with it’s distinct speed up/slow down pacing and the combined skills of four heavyweight veterans. “Fly That Knot” features Talib Kweli on some seriously hot shit, while personal favourite Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox reps “Da Supafriendz” over a loop lifted from the Fat Albert theme song, augmented by the sounds of wailing cats. “All Outta Ale” sounds like the most painful hangover ever, and begins with the best sample – “one more beer, and I’ll take on all of you!!!”. “My Favourite Ladies” is one of Doom’s best storytelling tracks, and the video is definitely worth a spin on YouTube. The closing remix of “Street Corners” with Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck and the GZA ends the novel with some slow street corner thuggery that bumps with deadly lyricism. As ever, Doom’s work is so dense and intricate that it merits many repeated listens to catch every mind nimbing turn of phrase. With a heady assortment of fresh herbs and spices lacing the grimy beats and an army of lyrical swordsmen at his side, Doom’s tyrannical conquest of all humanity has been distilled into a potent spirit that could strip the paint off a wall. An icon to struggling people everywhere, a leader of men, and a shining role model for our youth all in one, Doom’s example will resonate for ages as a man who forged his own path through a haze of bluntsmoke, brew and ladies. As the astonished cartoon voice keeps repeating on “Unexpected Guest”, “Wow, Doom’s as evil as ever!!!”. By Dave “Corvid” McCallum

Flip Skateboards Presents: Extremely Sorry Soundtrack Baron/Various Volcom

What else could a diverse music lover ask for when you take one of the UK’s top DJ’s and then combine him the likes of Motorhead’s Lemmy, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, hipster rockers Black Mountain and Pennywise’s Jim Lindberg?, well you get a trip-hoppy metal/rock mash up that almost compares with the Liam Howletts “Dirtchamber Sessions” minus the sampling. No, that’s not an insult. The DJ known as Baron (now L.A. based) had recorded this to accompany the film that bears the same name, this potpourri of audible fragrance’s are a pleasure to sniff and relax your mind, especially when the calming (?), soothing sounds of Lemmy breaks through on his interpretation of Ben E. Kings “Stand by Me”. Not since his duet with Wendy O. Williams covering Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” have we heard the soft side of the grouchy growler and he does it with fanatical finesse. Dave Lombardo screeches things to a halt as the drummer for Slayer executes the aptly tilted “Drum Solo“, that of which it is not. But it’s good. Really good. An ambient and elusive swaying of rhythm show his ability to break out of the Death Metal shell and ooze musicianship in under 1 minute and 11 seconds. Hit repeat on this 4 times to make a fully enjoyable track. Six more tracks as instrumentals ranging from a Tricky/Massive Attack sounding hybrid to a more harder electronicapounding coupled with guitar licks, gives this album more creditability than one would expect, not your average skate soundtrack. Regardless, West coast rapper Warren G. and the ever-blunted Snoop Dogg grace the last track “Swagger Rich” with yes – swagger. Roll, rewind, repeat. By E.S. Day

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Fu Manchu

Kottonmouth Kings

Fucking Fu Manchu man, 19 years and ten albums into their career and they still kick supreme ass! Their latest entitled Signs of Infinite Power is their most aptly named album thus far and quite possibly Fu Manchu’s best album to date. What would you expect from a band that never fails to impress? Thus far this year’s leading contender in the lifeless field of album of the year.

One thought comes to mind upon listening to the first few songs of Kottonmouth Kings’ new monster 40-song double album Hidden Stash 420 and never leaves through the entire thing: “Man, this totally blows.” Rapping over beats that sound like they were stolen out of a bin marked “too shitty to use” in Timbaland’s basement, Kottonmouth Kings hit you with every rap cliché in the book and expect you to act like you’ve never encountered them before. Rapping on subjects like smoking weed, sex, smoking weed, pimpin’, smoking weed, partying, and every single other hip-hop-ism you can think of, Kottonmouth Kings display just how little they seem to have been paying attention to mainstream media for the last ten years as they reach into their lyrical bag of tricks and come up with the same rhymes that artists like 50 Cent and Nelly have been slanging for a decade.

Signs of Infinite Power Century Media Records

Its not just die hard fans of Fu Manchu who are in for a treat with the release of Signs of Infinite Power, those unfamiliar with this California crew’s brand of stoner/dessert rock would be wise to pick this disc up and acquaint themselves with Fu Manchu’s masterful stoner drone superiority. As far as gateway albums are concerned, this is like starting with cocaine and working your way up to more cocaine! Signs of Infinite Power is the definition of what Fu Manchu does best. Drawn out, drone laden, head nodding numbers rolled perfectly and served with distinction. Tracks like “Against the Ground” with its curious verse arrangement made perfectly clear with grandiloquent choruses and sonorous solos. “Webfoot Witch Hat” is pure Fu, catchy lyrics, sludge filled chorus and hooks galore. The chances of you getting into your GTO Judge and not matting it through the neighborhood with “Take It Away” playing on the stereo are slim to none. Fu Manchu once again proves there is little need to improve on perfection, just keep polishing it. This mature and polished approach is exactly what makes Signs of Infinite Power not just another exceptional Fu Manchu album but a true classic of its genre. Yes, it’s that fucking good. By Grimm “Gargantuan” Culhane

Hidden Stash 420 Suburban Noize Records

While their abundance of relatively uplifting raps is to be commended (if you like that kind of thing) just because it’s different from most other hip-hop out there today, one could just as easily listen to someone like K-OS or K’naan for a taste of rapping that is not only more upbeat but is more original, more fun to listen to, and doesn’t come with the prerequisite bullshit thugishness and brain-raping Auto-Tune. The only real highlights on disc one are the last track, the upbeat “Let The Music Play”, Tech N9ne phoning in his verse on “Sacrifice”, and a 6-second sample of an interview with Rosebudd(“two d’s for a double-dose of this pimpin’!”) from the Hughes Brothers’ legendary documentary masterpiece American Pimp on the track “Stoner Bitch”. Disc two features nearly identical crap as the songs all blend together like the bodily fluids of a prison inmate getting ready to get a bit of revenge on an abusive guard. It’s all just more of the same, more rhymes about weed, more girlish R&B singers butting in inappropriately with their electrically-enhanced vocals, more beats that sound like they were mass produced by sweaty old ladies in a Chinese labour camp. If you’re already a big Kottonmouth Kings fan then you will no doubt absolutely love this album but for the rest of the brain-having public, a polite headshake and a quiet “dumbass” under one’s breath should suffice when asked if you’d like to have a listen. By A.W. Reid

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CD Reviews

Continued Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum II Williams Street Records

The infamous cartoon metal band Dethklok is releasing its second full-length album, Dethalbum II on September 29th. This one takes a slightly different approach from the first, with fewer tracks, less hooks and more dynamics. Some of the more noticeable changes include a step away from the very tongue-in-cheek lyrical concepts and extremely catchy choruses. Also, Nathan Explosion’s vocal style has undergone a very perceptible transformation. He’s not exclusive to the real low, death grunts anymore. Tracks like “The Gears” and “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence” find him venturing into a Johan Hegg-type range; screams that are higher in range yet equally as powerful. Overall it feels as though Dethklok -comprised essentially of Brendon Small: guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals and Gene Hoglan on drumshas evolved as an actual band rather then just a cartoon parody of a metal band. Perhaps some of the original formula was altered through trial by error while they were on the road or perhaps it’s the incessant drive to continually evolve. Whatever the case, they obviously decided to make Dethalbum II into a kind of Dethklok experiment rather then simply play it safe. There’s definitely a lot of risk involved in trying to follow-up tracks like “Murmaider”, “Go Forth and Die” and “Blood Ocean?” While Dethalbum II doesn’t hit the same level of originality as the first (it is the second after all), it contains enough gems to make it awesome in its own right. Songs like “Bloodlines”, “Pull the Plug”, “The Cyborg Slayers” and “Murmaider II: The Water God” combine the old and the new in a perfect soundtrack for torture, destruction and bloodshed. By Alxs Ness

Mötley Crüe

Greatest Hits Motley/Universal As consumers continue to shift their focus away from brick-and-mortar music stores and get their tunes online (either legally or illegally), one has to wonder how relevant a “greatest hits” release is in 2009. After all, the “album” format has been tits up for several years what with half-baked artists churning out empty cookie-cutter records with barely a worthwhile song or two. Music fans got tired of ponying up fifteen bucks for what would ultimately be a bunch of throwaway tracks. With the freedom to pick and choose songs a person likes to build their own “greatest hits” of their favorite artist, the business model seemed dead in the water to anyone with even the slightest foresight. Of course, bands like Mötley Crüe, who it should be noted has only released a pair of albums of new material in ten years, continue to crank out compilation after compilation of re-packaged “hits,” hoping fans will think, “You know…I DO need another version of ‘Home Sweet Home’.” This latest entry in the burgeoning Crüe canon, imaginatively titled Greatest Hits, hopes fans will forget the other Greatest Hits that came out in 1998 which features fourteen of the same songs as the new release but with a revamped track order. They’re all here—“Looks That Kill,” “Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” “Shout At The Devil,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood”—so no one can deny that people who do buy this are getting plenty of bang for their buck. Admittedly, “Kickstart My Heart” is one of the greatest songs to put the pedal to the metal that has ever been laid down but in one of the more curious moves, the boys have the balls to throw in a token song from 1997’s colossal dud Generation Swine while leaving off “Live Wire.” And for anyone who didn’t pick up 2005’s Red, White & Crüe, the two new songs from that hits package find their way on to this one, so all bases are covered. It shouldn’t take a genius to see the irony in the two dollar signs emblazoned on the cover of Greatest Hits as this latest release, admittedly filled to the brim with Crüe classics, is a blatant cash grab for the holidays a la KISS. In the last ten years, Mötley Crüe has released two Greatest Hits, a two-disc hits collection, a pair of double-live CDs and rereleased its entire back catalogue not once, but twice! So let’s be honest before parting with another twelve bucks…do we really need another version of “Home Sweet Home” or would the money be better spent on that new Methods of Mayhem blockbuster that Tommy Lee is promising us? Well, come to think of it…

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Its been a few years since anything Nirvana has been released so you could definitely see this coming. Considered by many to be “Nirvana’s No. 1 Greatest Moment,” Nirvana – Live at Reading has finally been released in it’s entirety and fans of the fab three will definitely not be disappointed. Recorded in 1992 at the Reading Festival (and considered one of the most bootlegged concerts in the annals of rock and roll), this 24-song set captures Nirvana on the crest of their insane career, saving the disheveled, record buying masses from the scourge of posers and hair metal.

French sludge titans Overmars are compared to Neurosis way too often and not without reason. Their previous work has resembled the originators in many a way, sparkling some originality nevertheless. Now if you say they are regurgitating, plug in their new Born Again CD, press play and think again.

Live at Reading Geffen/UMG

Coming half way between the release of Nevermind and In Utero, their 1992 Reading Festival appearance was the perfect opportunity for Nirvana to highlight their current song roster (at the time) and to showcase new songs from the forthcoming album, In Utero. Playing Nevermind almost in its entirety (excluding “Something in the Way”) as well as half of Bleach and three yet to be recorded tracks off of In Utero, this is Nirvana at their peak both creatively and performance wise. Included in their set were the covers “The Money Will Roll Right In” by Fang and “D-7″ by The Wipers, influential artists in Kurt Cobain’s vision. Considering the lows Nirvana eventually went to (especially Kurt Cobain), this 78 minutes is a testament to a band that, in a very short period of time, single handedly defined a generation. The sound quality here is excellent and the set-list covers Nirvana’s entire spectrum. Between song banter is kept to a minimum, (most words being spoken by bassist Krist Novoselic) and a better quality, more inclusive recording of a Nirvana live performance is not likely to surface. Amidst the turmoil of Kurt’s life at the time, the drug usage and the hospital visit in Rome, the self mockery of being rolled out onstage on a wheelchair by journalist Everett True, its amazing this performance took place at all. Truly one of rock and rolls best performances. Now you can stick it in your ears and blast away in the confines of your own attic, or wherever.

Born Again Crucial Blast

Overmars is a great talent and there really is no other way but up for them, and the US re-issue of their latest full-length album is testament to what they are capable of. Born Again is a must for everybody who likes Sunn O))), Boris, Neurosis, early Nadja, Jesu and 5ive. Carrying amazing dark ambient atmosphere, drone-heavy guitar passages and a classic sludge sound on top of that, they are ready to discuss the matters of falling into the abyss, going insane, burning to ashes and being reborn again (no pun intended). At three in the morning, drunk/stoned/ deadly tired/sacrificing small domestic animals (pick any), listening to this album will render a perfect accompaniment. Whether they intend to or not, Overmars apart from everything else deliver a mighty slap on the face to everybody who says sludge metal and stoner rock don’t have any volume to them and feel like jerking off in monotonous oblivion. As a bonus you can expect to hear headbanging inducing riffs towards the end of the 39 minute long hymn to your craziness. Overmars, just the way we like it. By Arceon

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CD Reviews

Continued Pelican

What We All Come to Need Southern Lord Records Instrumental in both approach to playing and defiance of genre labeling, Pelican has been producing some of the most innovative and memorable music in the last ten years. Now the sludgy, post-metalists return with their fourth full length album entitled What We All Come to Need. This time the boys from Chicago take a decidedly more subdued approach compared to earlier releases, but the extended track lengths and dense melodic combinations remain pure Pelican. Straddling the blurred lines between Metal, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal and Post-Rock, Pelican’s melodic, riff laden library of music is both relentless and memorable. Albums like Australasia and The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw set the stage for post modernist metal/rock and ushered in a new appreciation for instrumental music. Continuing that process of influence and innovation can’t be easy, yet Pelican remain unperturbed in their sense and sensibilities, drive and direction. Sometimes that excursion is along the interstate at 70+ miles an hour, other times it’s a scenic drive down a secluded back road. What We All Come to Need is that scenic drive. Songs like “Glimmer ” and “Ephemeral” with their sliding chord progressions and formidable beats are reminiscent of all things Pelican, while new ground is covered with songs like “Specks of Light” and especially “Final Breath” which includes, for the first time in Pelican’s career, vocals by Allen Epley from The Life and Times and Shiner. Other notable musicians making appearances here include Greg Anderson of Sunn O))), Aaron Turner of Isis and Ben Verellen of Harkonen and Helms Alee. Produced by Chris Common, (who’s worked with the likes of Minus The Bear and These Arms Are Snakes), What We All Come to Need is decidedly lower key for a Pelican album, but this still remains one of the better releases of 2009 and further solidifies Pelican place in non genre-specific Godlike riffdom.

Protest The Hero

Gallop Meets The Earth Vagrant/UMG Protest The Hero releases their first live album, Gallop Meets The Earth, as a two disc CD/DVD set. The CD is a live recording of a show in Toronto and the DVD includes a HD video of the band performing the same show along with music videos, a small documentary based around the day of their show and small clips like “Wake And Funnel [beer]” of the band’s adolescent mischief and gross frolics. Gallop Meets The Earth is a great representation of experiencing the band’s live show. The sound is recorded with such clarity you’d think it was a studio album: every screaming fan can be clearly differentiated from the music, none of Moe Carlson’s rapid-fire blast-beat drumming is muffled in what could have become a swamp of noise with Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin’s intricate and fast picking guitar style, but every note is easily heard making it all sound significant. What makes the tracks on Gallop Meets The Earth different from the original recordings are the interludes of banter between lead singer, Rody Walker, and the audience. It’s hilarious how fast he can switch from pumping up the crowds to brutally insulting them and pull it off with a sense of humor. Unfortunately, the two-disc set doesn’t include any new band material, but its powerful track list is played flawlessly. Songs like “Nautical” and “Limb From Limb” off of the band’s preceding albums, Kezia and Fortress, are performed seamlessly into each other leaving no down time. The whole performance maintains a pulsing intensity with fast tempo songs, unstoppable energy from all five band members, and a style reminiscent of British power metal that’s incorporating technical death metal. Now you can watch over and over again the attitude, talent and sense of humour that has built Protest The Hero’s reputation. By Brandon Siemens

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Psyclon Nine


Earth, 2210. As the alien cyborg’s leg smashes the skull of a member of the feeble human resistance fighters, you can hear the sound of it’s hybrid heart and that’s exactly the beat of “We The Fallen” from the album of the same title by Psyclon Nine. We know the band all too well to understand that they don’t play any games, but this new release outright kills.

Q-Tip isn’t only back in house; it’s like you went out, and when you got back to the house Q-Tip had converted the living room into a living lounge and re-upholstered all your furniture with Jamiroquai’s hats. Kamaal The Abstract takes the soothing approach. Largely a jazz/ funk album and a far cry from the boom bap days, this episode finds Tip (Kamaal) kickin’ it with a slick band turning out sultry joints and humbly backing out of the spot light to showcase the live instrumentation in a manner almost un-heard of for rappers. As result, The Abstract actually sounds abstract and totally airs out the game as regards our expectations of a hip hop album. The album was actually recorded around the turn of the millennium, but Arista execs deemed it “un-commercial” and slept on it. Nearly a decade later it sounds current as ever and funky as the dickens.

We The Fallen Metropolis

If you imagine a dark overcast sky of the distant future, scorched Earth, bodies, buildings and bunkers disintegrated by ion cannons and add “Bloodwork” playing in the background you’d get a perfect picture of the apocalypse. Chanting the hymn of total destruction and doom and overseeing the end is Nero Bellum, who proudly carries the flag of the modern wave of American harsch ebm/electro-industrial. Only this time it’s heavier yet again with passages that many industrial metal bands will envy. If you take “The Derelict [God Forsaken]”, a combination of insanely fast beats, riffs and dark atmospheric samples, you’d get what would make any industrial rock artist proud. Well, if you are ready to be burned alive for blasphemy, calling it anything rock. It’s supposed to blow your mind and that’s exactly what We The Fallen is going to do. If you don’t believe it, strap yourselves in and let it pump the blood in your veins for you, since your heart won’t be necessary in a place this dark, the place where this album will take you at once. By arceon

Kamaal The Abstract Jive

Opening jam, “Feelin” plants us on the sunny side of things right off the bat with an optimistic rhyme. “Had this good feelin’ when I got up today/Like everything was cool so I went on my way.” With his trademark thoughtful simplicity, Kamaal comments on the misplaced values of the day and poses a question we can all relate to- “What happened to that feeling?” – and meanders into a nice long instrumental break for us to think it over. Track 2, “Do You Dig U?” is a gram and a half of organic chill-ness, jazz flute and all, showcasing a vocal style from Q-Tip so smooth it makes Remy Shand sound like Judas Priest. This is that joint you sing into the hairbrush, waiting for the bath to draw. The mellow-fest heats up on tracks five and six, “Barely In Love” and “Heels”, respectively. The former shows Kamaal’s songwriting prowess and captures a Chambers Brothers-esque vibe over a driving backbeat and thick organ. “Heels”, a definite highlight, brings it back to the rhymes with glorious originality. Not unbeknownst to Q-Tip either who admits that he’s “Killing when I go back to my rap for a living”. Especially because the song is about women’s shoes. Finally, right? A mark of Kamaal The Abstract’s success is that fact that the immaculate grooves, and not the artist’s familiarity, make it hot. Were it a debut album it wouldn’t lose effect. Dude can rap, he can sing, he’s got a cool band and a neat hat…don’t see much not to like. Changing shit up like Obama in here; boom it in ya jeep!

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CD Reviews




Breathing the Fire Prosthetic Records

World Painted Blood American Recordings/Sony Music

Skeletonwitch’s latest release Breathing the Fire is a logical next step in their hell-raising, mosh-pit inducing course of auditory destruction. This 12 track epic is characteristic of the band without any dramatic changes in delivery. Except for perhaps a touch more black metal added to the recipe, fans can expect the same straight up, no bullshit thrash/ black/death metal style they refined with 2007’s Beyond the Permafrost. Though the style’s much the same, they sound noticeably more focused; both in each song’s composition as well as overall production. This is undoubtedly their strongest release to date.

If Tom Araya’s 2007 hint that the follow up to Christ Illusion could be the last for Slayer, World Painted Blood is definitely the right one to end with. Front to back, WPB is balls to the wall metal brutality, with just enough variation to keep the momentum going. While Christ Illusion certainly brought the band many accolades including 2 Grammy’s, World Painted Blood is like a flash-fire of Slayer trademarks; in 11 tracks it sums up the band’s 28-year career. Sure there’s a formula –you know a Slayer album when you hear it- but this isn’t a rehashing; these are the kind of seasoned tracks that come after nearly 3 decades of refining a particular sound and playing style.

“Submit to the Suffering” starts the album with a quick riff and energetic verse. Chance’s vocals are brutal yet clear as ever. When he breaks into the chorus N8 Feet Under (guitar) and Scunty D. (guitar) follow suit with a riff that will get everybody moving in seconds. The great thing about this track is that they keep it short and sweet. Though they use a very catchy chorus (which they could have exploited by repeating 3 or 4 times) they keep the filler down to nil. Rather then forcing the listener to wait through boring sections to get to the good stuff, they pack as much killer metal as they can into relatively short songs. This makes for an album that’s as interesting to listen to the 10th time as it was the 1st. Other highlights include the relentless “Crushed Beyond Dust” and the epic “And Into the Flame”- complete with intro, interlude and outro all crammed into 3:43. Also, with a noticeable musical preference for dark over fast this time around, the album artwork –sinister and less surreal than John Dyer Baizley’s concept for the Beyond the Permafrost, has proven extremely complimentary. It stands to make an accurate first impression of the band’s intentions for 2009; leave ‘em for dead. By Alxs Ness

The epic title track introduces the album. Though it starts off slow (by Slayer standards) “World Painted Blood” wastes no time working into a frenzy that doesn’t stop building intensity until the final riff. A nice touch here is when Araya follows an obscure guitar solo with a spoken word vocal part. With a breakdown riff in the background, this section works seamlessly to give slight pause in the musical intensity (no slack in the lyrical department though) before launching head first into another driving riff. The last chorus features Dave Lombardo (drums) kicking the shit out of the bass drum and crushing the toms into dust. Though obviously not such a surprising move coming from “the godfather of double bass,” the effect it has on the song will no doubt set off the crowd in a live situation and cause some stadium seats to meet their untimely demise. RIP. There are definitely a few tracks that stand out from the rest, but none that earn the label “filler.” Some of these standout tracks include “Psychopathy Red,”“Americon,”“World Painted Blood” and “Public Display of Dismemberment.” With the ability to still be writing such killer music, it’ll be bitter-sweet if this proves to be Slayer’s last release but at least they’ll have ended on a high note with their integrity fully intact. By Alxs Ness

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Souls of Mischief


What happens if you lock up four of California’s dopest MC’s with one of the East Coast’s maddest beat scientists in a house in Oakland with no TV or phone for two months? Apparently a thick slab of heavily spiced, perfectly prepared Hip Hop balancing the best elements of classic Hieroglyphics lyricism from Opio, Tajai, A-Plus and Phesto over the ever innovative and bumping beats of the one and only Prince Paul, with help from Hiero vet Domino. The appropriately titled “Montezuma’s Revenge” lands like an unexpected mudslide of illness and leaves the listener breathless and green in the face.

In it’s eight years of existence, the New York City formation Terrorfakt, rose to one of the most respected and well-known bands in North America and beyond, when it comes to rhythmic and power-noise. Ben Dewalt has been on a steady roll since 2003 delivering new albums as clockwork and 2009 is no different.

Montezuma’s Revenge Hiero Imperium Records

With a definite emphasis on group compositions highlighting the diverse skills of the MC’s, Prince Paul’s methodological approach has yielded a consistently satisfying product aimed at a maturing audience of connoisseur Hip Hop heads. Tracks like “Postal” and “Tour Stories” contrast the glamourous life with the realities of relationships and human unpredictability. “Poets” brings to the fore the deadly accuracy of this often underrated group of swordsmen over Paul’s jazzy loops, until “Morgan Freeman” advises Tajai to “drop that Old School shit!!!”. “Fourmation” accepts the challenge, and the Voltron unit does just that, dropping Old School bombs over classic Boom Bap. “Lickity Split” delves deeper into female troubles, a theme Prince Paul seems often drawn to, and the four flex flows colder than brass balls. While consistently bumping, “Montezuma’s Revenge” rocks a laid-back confidence beyond swagger, and exhibits the talents of five serious veterans, melded together into a mind-altering musical experience perfect for a solo blazing session when you’re feeling world weary and embittered by tepid rappers, yet red-eyed and vexed enough to want some bite. Chuck D. said he looked forward to the return of the Hip Hop group, and here we have it, with the standards and stakes as high as ever.

Re-Evolution Metropolis Records

In between headlining the harsh/noise day of Kinetik Festival in Montreal and working on numerous remixes, Ben finds time to write new material and he fills it with a wide spectrum of emotions, mainly hate and sarcasm, it seems. The new release, Re-Evolution, is a yet another step into impressive rhythmic noise, complete with a bunch of movie samples. Never shy or short of words, Terrorfakt is more brutal and heavy as ever and their popularity defies the fact that their music is not for everybody, even including people who like industrial in general. This is the way this music should be done, and if you don’t like the genre, you probably won’t like Re-Evolution either. But if you’re up to it, dig in and enjoy the process of “Deconstruction” of your brain, causing “Frontal Damage” to it, frontal lobe that is. And if you’re patient enough, “Skullfucker (Synnack Remix)” will add up to a pleasant surprise with it’s almost dark-electro like atmosphere. A must for fans. As for everybody else – watch out, this wasn’t meant to be digested easily. By Arceon

CD Reviews

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CD Reviews

Continued Vancouver Killing Spree It’s Not About Murder Indie

Not many local Vancouver bands will remind you of S.N.F.U., Bad Brains, Fu Manchu, The Dayglo Abortions and Minor Threat all rolled into one. Don’t hurt yourself trying to think of any, its just not going to happen. There is an anomaly though, and thank fuck for anomalies. A new power trio is on the scene and they’re on a spree, a Vancouver Killing Spree. All bullshit aside, Vancouver Killing Spree plays pure punk rock, fast and loud, with a twist. That twist is some of the sweetest bass noise to be heard since John Wright strapped on a four string, plugged that fucker in and kicked it with his boots on. “Poor Impulse Control” and “Ball Peen Hammer” both work beautifully as perfect riff laden examples of punk rock fury with in-your-face bass. “Hollinger” out S.N.F.U.’s S.N.F.U. (nice grammar) while ”VKS” is the whitest Bad Brains song you’ll ever hear (yes that was a compliment). Punk rock has been constant for years. Local bands like The Rebel Spell and The Jolts are keeping it real, and more power to them, but what punk rock really needs is something to shake up the status quo. A kick in the balls is always fun or a murderous rampage would be good, or better yet, a Vancouver Killing Spree. By Grimm “Ball Peen” Culhane

We, The Undersigned Bleed The Constants Diminished Fifth Records

We, The Undersigned and Diminished Fifth Records present: Groovy party time metal for nerds! Bleed The Constants keeps the bar high for energy and creative heavy riffage without losing the underlying groove that keeps heads banging. It also keeps heads turning with hilarious references like on the opening track, IDDQD. If you aren’t sure what this reference is, you never played first person shooters on a PC in the 90’s. Back in those days, shooting digital demons and listening to Machine Head and Sepultura was a must. These boys must be dreaming of Doom and dabbling in phantasmagorical metal fantasies to this very day. The songs are relentless string theories defying convention and convection until the core boils over and the smell of burning guts is pungent. Vocalist Tyler Feeney brings back the low tenor of the late Nothingface and squeezes it up a few tones with a twist of modern, melodic, hillbilly-hoedown hardcore screaming to match the fast dance sensibilities of his band mates. Notable tracks include: Making a Break for the Ocean, with some of the hookiest licks you can shake a pointed stick at, Burning Bodies featuring vocals by Chris Schroeder, and Strassman’s Child featuring atmospheric guitar work by Mason Tikl, both of What’s He Building In There? The title track features a fabulous wee bass solo by Jai Sadler, a nice gesture in the metal world where bass usually takes a back seat in the mix. Don’t forget to scream along with this one as the boys proclaim “PICK UP YOUR DEAD” to the unwitting masses. Do not confuse this with the “Bring Out Your Dead” sketch of Monty Python fame. If you are indeed confused go check out the band’s Myspace and peruse in the lyrical content therein. Perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily you can clean the skeletal dead out of your closet by indulging in this musical exorcism of the stagnant. As a haggard peasant once said, “There’s some lovely filth down ‘ere!”

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Without Mercy


This autumn, Vancouver-based extreme metal outfit, Without Mercy, are swiftly following up to their debut EP with their first full-length self-titled album which carves in stone (or rather plastic track) all the energy, fury and metal essence of this remarkable quartet. Delivering in a strictly no-pussy-metal style, they are showing their strong capabilities of smashing your brain against the inside of your own skull, shattering your teeth and breaking the spine, if necessary.

When [:SITD:] aren’t busy casting shadows in the darkness (pun intended), doing split releases with Painbastard and playing the iconic M’era Luna festival, they are concentrating on delivering their unique brand of apocalyptic electro and igniting every dance floor their music can reach. And in 2009 as ever before they are on top of everything, including themselves.

Self-Titled Ground Zero

Lead by a remarkable female vocalist, Alxs, they are on a non-stop train to metal acknowledgment. “Without Mercy” is soaked in influences and is built in the best metallic tradition of the last two decades, absorbing everything you love from Pantera to Lamb of God. The talent speaks for itself and everything pop that has been plaguing metal music is off-limits on this release. Brace yourselves for impressive solos (“CMDUC”), killer tracks like “Chasm” and “Slit” and straightforward technical approach to recording. Don’t expect any atmospheric bullshit, this is metal the way old-school titans did it. This doesn’t stop young talent from sparking and innovating though, namely Matt (drums) who mixes classic thrash beats with hardcore/crossover blasts, as if reminding us that it’s not only Joey Jordison’s of this world who are good despite their age. The room for their growth is truly enormous and after the sounds of “All Else Fails” die away you are left wondering what they’re going to sound like in a couple of years. All they need is a spark, and they will burn you…without mercy.

Rot Metropolis

Rot comes as nothing less than one of the most striking electronic releases of the year, devoted to the traditional mix of synth-pop melodies and vocals (as on “Pride”) along with dark electro-heavy beats and harsh delivery (“Frontal”). What immediately strikes you is how catchy the whole album is, maintaining the heaviness and not repeating itself. It would be a sin to say that there was any release so rich on hits since Hocico’s Memorias Atras. To top it all off, [:SITD:] is still exemplary in lyrics, bringing sparkling intelligence into industrial, the level of which can usually only be attributed to bands like KMFDM (who are initially and deliberately oriented on verbal content at least as much as music itself ). Remember this when listening to songs like “Zodiac” and especially “MK Ultra”. Rot is the album that will inhabit every music playing device that you have, and you won’t be able to stop listening to it till your ears bleed, and then, only to go and get the tissue. [:SITD:] is the official guide to dance-floor invasion, and there’s no stopping them. By Arceon By Arceon

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LIVE Reviews Brother Ali w/ BK One, Evidence, Toki Wright Friday, October 9, 2009 The Venue, Vancouver, BC

Brother Ali’s “Fresh Air Tour” was in town serving an eviction notice to all the bullshit last night, with the scarily palpable message that there is no more me or you, just US. The imposing albino and cohorts BK One – always the portrait of stamina on the decks, Toki Wright, and Evidence (of Dilated Peoples) sailed above and beyond the call of music, clutching a rapturous sell out crowd by the hearts and injecting a well needed dose of uncut love into our lives. Minnesota soul guru Toki Wright started shit popping, moving the crowd with the demeanor of a veteran and the crack lyricism of a young gun. Equal parts stage wisdom and funky steez, he busted some joints off his new album, A Different Mirror, and the shit sounds tighter than a pregnant belly past due. Evidence of Dilated Peoples fame was next to touch the mic and heighten the frenzy as The Venue filled up. Spitting with unparalleled clarity, and dropping new material, joints from the classic Weatherman LP as well as Dilated Peoples favorites like “This Way” and “Worst Comes To Worst”, Ev rocked like a headliner and got the reception of one from the already ecstatic crowd. Little did they know the biggest smack upside the head was yet to come. When the ever-substantial Brother Ali speaks, folks listen. But last night saw some next level fanatical zeal going down. And in a city known for partying like it’s on sedatives, the complete freakout inspired by the Rhymesayers heavyweight was, well, a real breath of fresh air. Ali took his set through the chapters of his career, giving particular focus to his multifaceted new album, Us, as well as playing favorites from The Undisputed Truth, Shadows On The Sun, and even The Champion EP. Anthems like “Uncle Sam Goddamn” saw the crowd in fervent support of blistering statements like, “The government’s an addict/ with a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit”.

Perhaps as impressive as the songs themselves were some of Ali’s words between them; the big brother made it clear that he’s not playing along with any obsolete ways of thinking, renouncing the homophobia, misogyny, racism, and religious violence that no longer have a place in the world. “The people who believe in this shit are dying off,” he said, “I’m here serving an eviction notice to all the bullshit.” But more than criticize, Ali encouraged listeners to replace divisive ideas with the only reasonable successor: love, a sentiment the Vancouver audience was more than happy to get behind. He wrapped up with the new single “Fresh Air”, a must-hear song about loving life accompanied on the projection screen by rad backyard BBQ footage, and sent the crowd into the streets with refreshed attitudes to bring to their ciphers. If you only make it to one underground rap show this year, make no mistake about it, The Fresh Air Tour might be the best twenty bones you ever spend. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss it. By Nigel “Fire Sandwich” Mojica Photo by Jamie Sands

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Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab, Mr. Lif, and Willie Evans Jr.,

Hosted by Lyrics Born Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC Observant heads may have noticed that Tuesday night’s installation of the Deadliest Catch tour marks the last touring hip-hop show that’s gonna hit Vancouver before 2010. And as Jimmy Buffet says, “You must attend the party at the end of the world.” Vancouver never seemed more ready for a zombie apocalypse than in the piss pouring rain, smoking pinners and bent cigarettes behind the velvet rope- but in the Biltmore’s pale dim light, the crowd looked collegiate, healthy, and hungry for rhymes. Hungry enough, even… to bite your arm off? When asked what happened to his signature massive dreads, the newly shorn Mr. Lif replied with glee – “I graduated!”, and with each performance he graces his Vancouver audience he consistently steps up his game lyrically and visually. Over a shifting canvas of smothering bass and cascading drum loops, Lif and his ever dope co-conspirator Willy Evans Jr. took the minds and hearts of the capacity crowd on a visionary journey through the pre and post-apocalyptic world of the late North American nightmare. With Evans’ deceivingly laidback flow dropping psy-op stealth bombs sounding like the best of Nas and Doom in a Warner Brothers style, and Lif’s incendiary everyman prophet of doom persona laying bare; the truths that we all want to hear, the evening’s openers set the bar at a height few could ascend to. With songs like “Earthcrusher” and “Collapse the Walls” echoing the recent earthquake on the North Coast, Lif and Evans’ elemental Hip Hop is like an invocation to the heights for inspiration and 21st Century b-boy battle consciousness. Gift Of Gab may not be what you’d call a slight man but best believe he’s your tongue calisthenics instructor’s instructor. The Blackalicious MC’s lyrical escapades are revered by lovers of rap, auctions, and the dictionary alike and as always his solid following showed up to have their minds melted over his jagged soundscape of diddly-daddly wookada wookada whimsy. He played some showstoppers; of course, “Deception” had the house in a raucous singalong, and “Alphabetical Aerobics” tickled some fancy (in spite of Gift puttering off at the end). He was pretty adamant around the close of his set that we weren’t going to hear him freestyle. The crowd tried to change his mind with shouts and applause, but he remained inflexible, “you’re still not

gonna hear Gift of Gab freestyle.” Shucks guys… But wait! he’s saying something else…”You’re gonna hear Gift of Gab freestyle…with LYRICS BORN!!” And so God made it. Lyrics Born, the future Asian American correspondent for the Hip Hop network, tore a strip off of the usual half-hearted, 15 second freestyles that big MCs tend to drop at shows, whipping out feisty, multisyllabic bombs, countered by Gift of Gab in a passionate roar that should’ve been his flow the whole night through. Indeed, the tour’s host served the riled up crowd and set the lyrical bar high for everyone in the Jam. The big tuna, Chali 2na that is, has a voice like onyx and a flow like a tap dancer on wet glue. He was the final bit of heat to make the already steaming audience boil over with joy. Hitting smooth raps, deep punchy lyrical marches, and balls-out dance numbers with the accompaniment of an eight-stringed bassist, keys, and a drummer, his set ran the gamut of underground hip-hop styles, permeated through and through by undeniable positivity. “I’m pretty damn proud of this song, so if you know the words…” said the Jurassic 5 heavyweight over the opening bars of “What’s Golden” and proceeded to conduct the buck wild sea of waving arms like a maestro to the apocalypse. Tuna hit up a long, generous set, wrapping up with an extended freestyle with the night’s other 4 acts. It was a party fueled by pure spit, in a world where chops make a man, and the masses sweat in exultation of large lung-ed kings. By Dave “Corvid” McCallum & Nigel Mojica Photo by Jamie Sands

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Dethklok/Mastodon with Converge and High on Fire Sunday, October 4, 2009 Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC

Kicking off the night, High on Fire from Oakland, CA tore through their set while front man Matt Pike (ex-Sleep) mesmerized the crowd with his psychotic performance style. Though they sounded and looked great, their slower, stoner metal would no doubt would have been better suited to this summer’s Down tour or something along those lines. Nevertheless, they put on a great show and would have undoubtedly gotten a better reception on a more-suited bill. Next up, receiving a strongly mixed crowd response was extreme metal/punk band Converge. By this time it seemed clear that whoever organized this show was either trying to draw a diverse crowd by including a variety of musical styles or they took a huge bong hit before finalizing the decisions. Either way, it no doubt sucked for the bands that had to play to a bunch of disapproving, stone-faced metal heads. Like pros however, Converge played an extremely high-energy, intense set without holding back or heckling the crowd. When co-headliners Mastodon hit the stage, it seemed that at last we were on the right track. Unfortunately this feeling was smashed when they proceeded to play their latest album Crack the Skye in its entirety. This new album has seen them all but abandon the brutal sludge/progressive sound that earned them renown, now adopting a style that could be best described as a metal version of Tool. For those not familiar with these tracks, their set felt like 1 continuous song that would most likely be awesome while on acid, but without acid, no crowd interaction or song introductions, was drawn-out and tedious. Despite these aforementioned setbacks, it was well worth the wait. Dethklok put on one of the best metal shows

that Vancouver has seen in a long, long time. Starting with Metalocalypse’s theme song, Brendon Small (Guitars and vox) and Gene Hoglan (Drums), along with touring members Mike Keneally (Guitars) and Bryan Beller (Bass) immediately destroyed any doubts that they wouldn’t be able to pull it off live. Not only did they completely reproduce the Dethklok sound, they did so 100% in synch with the cartoon version of the band, which played along on a giant screen above the stage. While they all sounded flawless, Gene Hoglan AKA The Atomic Clock was a crowd favorite. This guy proved once again why he is one of the most respected metal drummers in the world.

Including a perfect mix of tracks from both Dethalbums, they played through some classics including “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle” and “Murmaider” as well as the killer new tracks “The Gears” and “Burn the Earth” to name a few. In addition, appearances by the Tribunal, Facebones and a couple hilarious scenes with Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar, Toki and Pickles made for a captivating live performance. This show definitely set the bar high for touring bands in the next while. Dethklok Set List: Deth Suppor Deththeme Bloodlines Awaken The Gears Burn the Earth Murmaider Hatredcopter By Alxs Ness Photo by Scott Alexander

Thunderhors Black Fire Upon Us Into the W Birthday Dethday Abort Go 102 103 Fansong Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle


se Water

LIVE Reviews Continued Emilie Autumn and Her Bloody Crumpets Friday, October 30th, 2009 The Rickshaw, Vancouver, BC

As we near the end of civilization, with decadence and lust quickly becoming the staples of a fearful and depraved society, what was once considered taboo is now embraced and lauded. Hollywood’s present fascinations with violence and bloodshed has had it’s day and the time has come for peace, love, and sexual ambiguity to reign supreme. No better example of this can be seen than Emilie Autumn’s “The Asylum Tour” appearance at the Rickshaw on Friday night. With the talented and equally endowed members of Emilie’s Bloody Crumpets in tow, it was a sexy evening of Gothic playfulness and “Victoriandustrial” harmonies. Truly a talented vocalist in her own right, Emilie also displayed her adeptness at harpsichord, violin, costumery, set design and seething sexuality. Intrinsically more of a Gothic Burlesque performance than a musical gig per se, what “Plague Rat” in their right mind is going to complain when five scantily clad women insist upon writhing about in a makeshift bedroom, devising ways to corrupt each other and the audience? Highlights this evening (besides the set design, costumes and slinky sexiness), included an amazing dance performances by the feather wielding Naughty Veronica, who definitely made several of the audience members stand at attention. The sexy antics of the other Bloody Crumpets; Aprella, The Pirate Captain – Miss Maggot and the Blessed Contessa presented a wonderful diversion and Gothic Broadway like performance, like haunted dolls coming to life and exploring their sexuality in front of the rest of the toys… or Plague Rats, what have you.

Musical selections for the evening’s festivities included songs from across Emilie’s discography, most notably a wel choreographed and erotic rendition of “I Want My Innocence Back” involving all of the Bloody Crumpets. Powerful songs were given second place to the “burlesqueness” of this show, with no complaints either generated or necessary.

Words just can’t do justice to a visual and audio feast such a this. A spellbound all ages audience showed much deserved appreciation for this her first of what will undoubtedly be many appearances of Emilie Autumn and Her Bloody Crumpets in Vancouver. By Grimm “Plague Rat” Culhane Photo by Scott Alexander

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Heathenfest America 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 The Red Room, Vancouver, Canada This Wednesday Vancouver’s Red Room played host to the last North American date of the Heathenfest America 2009 tour. Stocked with an army of some of the best folk metal around –Eluveitie, Alestorm, Vreid and Kivimetsan Druidi with some death metal reinforcement courtesy of Belphegor- and acquiring the support of two of Vancouver’s best folk metal bands –Scythia and Trollband- Heathenfest descended on this cold, rainy night with the sole intention of drinking our city dry and raising some hell in the process. Scythia hit the stage first. Having already garnered a lot of attention in the local scene for their energetic live show and distinctive take on the folk metal genre, this up and coming 6-piece got the show started right. Tearing through their much too short of a set, they made the most of the small stage, ensuring an entertaining performance and leaving a strong impression. Up next, Trollband picked up where Scythia left off kicking out a nice, dynamic mix of fast and slow songs. Although they were short one guitarist, the remaining members did a great job holding it down. Though their sound is varied, there’s definitely a more aggressive feel to these guys and their choice to end with one of the most brutal songs in their set definitely pleased fans with a bias for the heavy stuff. Next, Kivimetsan Druidi, based out of Finland, mixed it up a bit with the operatic-style vocals of Leeni-Maria, not to mention her stage presence which varied at will between seductive and humorous. By the end of their set, she had the crowd worked up and ready for Norwegian black metal band Vreid. Though not quite as brutal as Belphegor, Vreid was the first band of the night to bring a consistently heavy sound. Unfortunately, many of their songs were pretty standard, each song resembling the next. Though they were heavy and fast, there wasn’t a whole of variety between tracks, which led to an overall unexciting set. Darlings of the evening, Scottish pirate metal heathens Alestorm stole the show. Without a doubt, many people came just to see them as the venue was half cleared out the moment they left the stage. With some great drinking songs and an apparently never-ending supply of energy, they brought the Red Room to life. When they kicked into their first song, almost everyone in the venue made their way down to the floor, drink in hand. Front man Christopher Bowes proved to be quite the character, making jokes throughout their set and throwing down some sick solos on the keytar. Next up, Belphegor stormed the stage only to find that half the venue had cleared out. Unfortunately, Belphegor, the only blackened death metal band on the bill were sort of the odd ducks on the tour and consequently the reception for them wasn’t the warmest. That being said, those of us who stayed, those of us who appreciate having our faces torn off by the Austrian quartet, were treated to a killer fucking show. Never one to disappoint, vocalist Helmut

was in fine grotesque form, swearing at the crowd during sound check, taking pauses to make pig sounds into the mic while staring blankly at the crowd and pouring blood over himself during “Justine Soaked in Blood.” … Finally, Eluveitie filled the stage beyond capacity with their 8 member line-up. While certain aspects of their sound could be categorized as a cross between the Black Dahlia Murder and Amon Amarth, their use of instruments seldom seen in metal music –i.e. mandolin, whistles, hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes to name a few- gives them a depth that helps them transcend these influences. With a seamless melding of brutal aggression and moments of contemplative beauty, Eluveitie are probably one of the most diverse bands to come around in a long time.

By Alxs Ness Photo by Scott Alexander

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Jay-Z w/ N.E.R.D. and DJ Flipout Friday, October 16, 2009 GM Place, Vancouver, BC

Jigga what? Jigga who? Where’s Wale? Oh wait, who cares? Brooklyn’s favorite son was met by a boiling tempest of love that could’ve cooked a sea monster when he rose through a trap door in the stage at GM Place Friday night. Like the color black, worship is something the veteran performer wears well. Indeed, shades on and diamonds sparkling, young Hov really did look like that young rapper, but his all-pro stage show benefited from some veteran moves- like getting the sickest drummer he could find to hold the band down. With a juggernaut assembly of lights and speakers stacked behind him, Hova never looked more like captain of the rap game than on the prow of that multi-million dollar pirate ship of technology. First Mate Memphis Bleek stepped on deck to join Jay on Blueprint 1 classic “U Don’t Know” and stuck around to swashbuckle lines and compare jewelry. Jay dropped jewels from across his catalog backed by his tighter-than-tight band, the Roc Boys, creating an enormous sound that had the Vancouver audience giddy, bouncing obscenely to classics like “Big Pimpin” and “Can I Get A”. Soprano sax rained over the crowd during “Death Of Autotune”. “Stick to rap,” Jay said, dropping out to let us fill in the blank- “You’re T-Pain-ing too much!”. Jay was a walking testament to the power of good old fashioned spitting, utilizing no gadgets, no recorded backing tracks, and no fuckin autotune to rock the house, just crisp clear vocals and remarkable timing. 1999 classic, “Hard Knock Life” had the room in a side-to-side that weakened the foundations of the arena.. but it’s cool, I’m sure he can afford to foot the repair bill. Pharrell Williams

even graced the stage again (after his raucous opening set with N.E.R.D.) to join Jay for “So Ambitious” off Blueprint 3. Laced with classics as his set was, new joints off the third Blueprint were almost the best part of the evening. Songs like “Run This Town”, “D.O.A.” and “So Ambitious” carried so well live- every word being audible enough even for a first-time listener- it’s like they were made to be performed. Jigga’s message to the people, “You can do whatever you want in this world.” Easy to say, but seeing the ruler still in his prime after more than a decade in the game, and looking around at the packed arena with their diamonds up, easier to believe. He reiterated it once more before being lowered through that hole in the stage, “Don’t let anybody fuck with your dreams; you can do anything you want to.” After all, oaks grow under strong winds and diamonds are made under pressure, and it seems dudes like Jigga are around to help the rest of us stay focused. Before playing his last joint, Jay took a full ten minutes and pointed out the audience members who’d been holding him down all night. “I see you with the white sunnies…don’t hurt your ankle jumping up and down like that.” Outside, trails of limo exhaust posed on the wet pavement for quick snapshots before fixing their trajectory to the stars. “I know one of y’all out there is gonna change the world,” Jay said. Let’s hope it’s not a fascist. By Nigel “Young” Mojica Photo by Scott Alexander

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Moonspell, Divine Heresy, Secrets of the Moon w/guests Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Venue, Vancouver, BC

Divine Heresy proved that their style is unique from other deathcore bands. The band’s lead guitarist, Dino Cazares, produced sounds of twisted power chords with his eight string axe which he effortlessly manipulated. Lead singer, Travis Neal switched between two vocal styles: a cleaner rock and roll style and deep growling/screeches –but who the hell could understand what he was singing about…? Who the hell cares while such pure brutal metal is on stage! Bass player, Joe Payne, sometimes straight up banged on his bass’ strings to get the effective thud sound. Divine Heresy live is a much grittier and louder band then what you’d hear in their albums including their latest; Bringer of Plagues. Their sound is powerful with enthusiasm that drove their dominating sound into the audience, who absorbed it all and let it fuel their pent up wild sides. Secrets Of The Moon, a doom metal band formed in Osnabruck, Germany, took their time building up the audience’s tension with long haunting and eerie intros. The whole band was a stand up act, never faltering or making a joke out of themselves. Particularly the drummer, Thrawn Thelemnar, stood out with a patient but prominent drumming style. When other doom metal drummers could continuously play something simple, (slow tempos being curricular in doom metal) his beats would intersperse and compliment a songs tone. Secrets Of the Moon can personify the sound of evil and hearing it live was chilling.

The crowd’s anxiety is finally fed as the lights dimmed for Moonspell –cheers and yelling followed. The band played each song to a tee. It may be that Moonspell’s songs have cleaner compositions with more distinct sounds, but hearing the opening bands to Moonspell there was definitely a professional difference. Moonspell sounded clear as their CD recording for their latest album Night Eternal; except for the lead singer, Fernando Ribeiro, with his thick accent, it was sometimes hard to make out the audio thunderstorm chorus’. Ribeiro liked to get right in the audience’s face and even at the back you could see he was giving it his from all the beads of sweat glistening on his face. Pedro Paizao’s ethereal synthesizer, Ricardo Amorim and Aires Pereira’s heavy driving guitar riffs, along with Ribeiro’s unholy-evangelist-like howling came together for an epic heavy metal experience in Vancouver’s Venue. It was a diverse line up: doom metal, deathcore and headlining was gothic metal. Because of The Venue’s tight spacing every performance was a personal experience between the bands and the fans. The crowd had nothing muffling them from hearing each bands interpretation of heavy metal. By Brandon Siemens Photo by Scott Alexander

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LIVE Reviews Continued Motörhead w/

Reverend Horton Heat & Nashville Pussy Thursday, October 1, 2009 The Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC

There are simple guidelines that make any gig going venture a successful one. First, make friends with the bartender the moment you arrive. Second, bring large friends to secure your place at the front of the stage and third, make sure those friends have money and can carry 3 beers in each hand without spilling any. If you managed all three of these at the Motörhead show Thursday night at the Vogue Theatre then you are one of the many people who thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are deaf as a post today. Straight from Hell (via Texas), the sexiest band in Rock and Roll, Nashville Pussy, opened the show with high octane and plunging neck lines. Playing every show like its their last gig ever, Nashville Pussy cranked out song after song of crotch infused rock! New material was pure super-charged Pussy, almost more Pussy than previous Pussy, yet still as Pussy as Pussy gets… from Nashville that is. Their psychotic finish was an amazing chaotic crescendo of busted strings and feedback. Pretty sure someone shit their pants over that one, wow! Single-handedly keeping warm summer nights and cruising in convertibles alive and well, The Reverend Horton Heat took over from there and shook things up with country-fed punkabilly. As the psycho-billy troubadours of the whiskey and cigarette set, Reverend Heat and the boys give credence to beer soaked brawls, hot rods, drug induced craziness and, of course, cacti. Raucous and bass heavy, you could feel your heart palpitating in your chest as they relentlessly thundered through their set. Mercy, mercy me.

Finally, the loudest, tightest 3 piece in existence took the stage and beat us all silly. After 34 fucking years of bludgeoning our senses one thing is abundantly clear, Lemmy is God and Motörhead is eternal. The current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee (playing together since 1992) is as good a combination of players as Motörhead has ever had. Ripping through “Stay Clean,” “The Bomber” and “Killed by Death” (like hot knifing butter) proved you can’t change or improve upon perfection. The flashing lights and syncopated beats of a freight train collision combined with repeated pile drivers to the solar plexis and ear splitting aural mana are what keep Motörhead vital and easily the loudest and most consistent act out there. What more could you ask for? How about an acoustic encore of “Whorehouse Blues” with Lemmy on harmonica followed by “Ace of Spades?” We’ll you got that too, so shut the hell up already! This was a rather unusual, yet appropriate line-up for a Thursday night gig, but Southern fried Rock and Heavy Metal go together like tissues and pornography so everyone went home happy. By Grimm “I should have stayed and drank Jack Daniels with Lemmy ” Culhane Photo by Scott Alexander

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Nadja w/ guests

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 Rickshaw Theater, Vancouver, BC Vancouver is rarely treated by quality live experimental music, and especially as good as the brilliant mix of drone and shoegazer that is Nadja. A duo of Aldan Baker and Leah Buckareff, their style, productivity and performances are downright unique. Considering the amount of releases since their conception in 2003, one can certainly claim that there’s just too little time to put into music what their talent wants to share with the world. Nevertheless they managed quite well till now, having delivered more that 25 releases in less than 7 years. So when they began to play “Thaumogenesis” on a late Saturday night in Rickshaw Theatre, the already homelike atmosphere in the crowd has turned into a unity of hearts and minds, flowing into the void. Even though some people were standing, the better option was to sit back, relax and let your mind wander in tune with the surreal video art, shown in the back. As the ambient and almost dream-pop like passages drifted into heavy drone riffs and hypnotizing percussion, the chaos in the depth of the universe revealed perfect harmony, filled with faces, shapes and barely recognizable Earth landscapes, acting as a teleport to and through realities and dimensions. Only Nadja are able to induce this state of mind on such short notice and the rest of the 60-minute long track is pure satisfaction of the dissolving mind. As the night began to grow old, time limits and local reality once again mercilessly cut into the magic of music and left us all begging for more. Literally, as a shout from the audience proved: “Please, play forever!”. There was an out-ofthis-world feeling that night, a combination of experiences and atmosphere that you can’t grasp every day: Nadja playing, people buying vinyl and sincerely enjoying it, everybody understanding and appreciating what was going on. Nadja is one band you must see live before you die. Transcending. Special thanks to Bryan and Malice Words and Photo By ArceO)))n

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R.A. The Rugged Man w/ Brass Tackz, Groundbreakers, Little T, Rhymists, and Reveal November 16, 2009, The Modern, Vancouver BC

Monday night was live and rugged at The Modern in Gastown- another packed show cementing MNL’s spot as one of Vancity’s longest running and most popular nights. What works: MNL proves that, living amongst us, there are still honestto-god hotties that love rap and at least tolerate rappers. So just because your art forces you to spend all your money on boutique clothes that don’t match or fit doesn’t mean you have to court a janky weedhead with gum in her beard if you don’t want to. That’s right fellas, there are fly women out there who, while under the mysterious and demoralizing spell of hip hop, will let their butts be squeezed ad nauseum and might even buy you a drink after. More importantly though, Monday Night Live, currently in the capable hands of young MC/promoter extraordinaire, Emotionz, provides the stage for a rotating caste of local talent, affording up and coming acts the opportunity to share bills with rap heavyweights like R.A. The Rugged Man, J-Live, Cunninlynguists, and countless others over the years. Vancouver’s own Groundbreakers were among the hungry milieu to touch the mic this night. Still pumped from the recent completion of their forthcoming album “From The Ground Up” the fresh-faced five, no strangers in the local scene, kicked a bomb set that fused contemporary hype and a hard nod to the golden era. And speaking of new releases, this past Halloween marked the FREE online release of “The Outfit” by Brass Tackz. The gruesome union of Snak The Ripper, Evil Ebenezer, and Young Sin (plus D-Rec on the wheels) have been on tour with R.A., stopping at home in Van last night for Snak’s birthday. The trio fall evenly across a spectrum with Sin’s smooth, linear rhyming at one end and Snak’s delirious drainpipe sermons on the other. While Evil, who’s craziness hangs in the middle, strikes me as Brass Tackz’ foremost lyrical mastermind, mind you it was Snak (the birthday boy)

taking showmanship to the next level. With face-melting flows, a voice like tearing manila paper, and “gonorrhea in my mouth” as he put it, Snak lived up to his title as The Ripper. What doesn’t work: The Modern. It’s a nice enough club and everything, but try coming back in after having a cigarette (that the bouncers made you smoke across the street because the dessert crowd at the Chill Winston couldn’t hack y’all creeping by the window. Seriously). You’d think that, having successfully completed the original retinal scan, groin cupping, and mandatory $4 backpack check, your well earned stamp would accord you speedy re-entry into the the dry haven of bass and friends.. but this isn’t commercial drive, hippy. Be prepared to kick it in the rain, 3rd class citizen style, while everybody gets searched again at a DJ Screw pace: the sort of shit you’d expect at a pretty boy nightclub, but downright offensive to the spirit of hip hop. And now ladies and gentlemen, the Monday night main event. In the black trunks, hailing from Suffolk County, Long Island, weighing in at at two armfuls of stones, the legendary dip-dip diverse socializer himself, R.A. The Rugged Man: peoples champ. He dropped some hay makers in the first round, including “Lessons” and his verse from “Chains”, that were pretty sweet, but no there was no knockout in this fight. Perhaps it was the throat infection he complained of early on, or the one hour of sleep they’d got the night before, or maybe his voice was still hoarse from putting Floyd Mayweather Jr. on well needed blast in that widely publicized interview recently. Whatever the case may be, R.A. spat pretty clean, but the whole set could’ve benefited from a louder mic and an adrenaline shot. By Nigel Mojica Photo by Jamie Sands

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Satyricon w/ Chthonic and Without Mercy Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC

Norwegian black metal is predominantly best digested on misanthropic walks through a sunset-clad forest, preferably with a blood-splattered axe on your shoulder. But a rainy autumn Vancouver day can do too, especially in a great live venue like The Rickshaw, perfect to welcome Mephisto himself in person. Bleeding Through had fallen off the tour due to personal issues, although it seems that they weren’t missed, especially with a such a wicked line-up. Opening the show local extreme metal outfit Without Mercy can be best characterized as the saviours of metal souls in Vancouver, tortured by pussy metal, they indeed saved the day (or rather night), rushing to the stage last minute to deliver a mind-crushing set including their latest single “Chasm”, to the best of their ability, which seems to be only limited by physical space on stage. Alxs Ness (vocals) skillfully orchestrated the numb crowd into a highly warmed-up union, pleasing old fans and surprising everybody else into thinking “exactly why the fuck haven’t I seen them live yet?” After a considerable break, Taiwan’s CHTHONIC appeared on stage in full gear, masks and pulsing energy, ready to rock the walls of The Rickshaw. The same energy has already won them the award for “Best International Artist” at the Tibetan Music Awards and tonight it has ran like an electro-shock through every metalhead in the venue. Lead by Freddy (Left Face of Maradou), this has to be one of the most original sympho-black metal bands out there and they kill live. When

you’re not busy getting yourself a headache trying to follow Jesse’s (The Infernal) fingers on guitar, you are amazed at the way the sound of the oriental two-string violin is integrated into their music. If you didn’t like CHTHONIC last night, you should get punched in the face. It was Satyricon’s first headlining show in Vancouver and the loyal fans clearly couldn’t wait for it to happen. When the Norwegian black metal sextet appeared on stage, the crowd exploded and the rest of the show can be viewed as a testament to this statement: some bands are out there only because the long-time fans still support them. Nobody argues their talent and their contribution to the genre, but with a bland sound and a rather weak stage presence they can’t be viewed as a prominent member of the second wave of black metal, which they nevertheless are. It’s always great to hear “King”, “The Pentagram Burns” and “Mother North” live, but something has to change to keep people interested and especially attract new fans. Bleak at best. CHTHONIC definitely stole the night and marked themselves as one of the best sympho-black metal bands to ever appear on a Vancouver stage. By ArCHTHeon Photo by Scott Alexander

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Saul Williams w/ Guests

Tuesday November 17th, 2009 Venue, Vancouver, British Columbia Venue still stands after Saul Williams got through with it. This is surprising if you consider the fact that the bass was thumping so loudly all night drinks were literally skittering across tables. The night started out with Houston, Texas-based act American Fangs stepping up to the plate, delivering their unique mix of totally ordinary hard rock. While the music itself was as bland as Kenny G’s shower curtain they actually made quite the show of it. At one point the lead singer jumped into the moshpit with his microphone in his hand and took a shot to the nuts which he shrugged off like a bronzecullioned Sean Connery. Next up was Earl Greyhound, a New York threepiece that blew the roof off the place with their psychedelic Zeppelin-inspired shreddery in spite of their name giving the impression they’re comprised of former Fleet Foxes members. Third up was CX KiDTRONiK & Tchaka Diallo, who exploded onto the stage from nowhere and cranked shit up a notch for all of fifteen minutes with their crazy-assed grimey beats and over-the-top outfits. Finally, with a roar from the crowd, Saul Williams slithered onto the stage like a hip-hop reptile and funk-molested the crowd for the next hour and a half. Performing his last show in the “Niggy Tardust” persona on the very stage in which he debuted it, Saul ascended the scene clad in a golden cape, purple suit jacket, and huge tasseled boots. All done up with sparkling face paint and technicolor feathers in his hair like a modern-day George Clinton he strutted about confidently, exuding funky pheromones which likely melted every panty in a three-block radius. Perfectly comfortable dancing around the stage like a lithe groove-snake on the prowl, Saul had complete control over the audience the entire time on-stage, ramping them up at his leisure and then calming them down with snippets of his terrific slam poetry only to ramp them up again with his kickin’ beats. While some might cringe at reading the words “slam poetry” it actually worked perfectly as he used it to segue between songs, changing the mood depending on which track was coming up next. For the finale he whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a raucous version of “List of Demands(Reparations)”, before he once again calmed them down with some poetic nuggets and then exited gracefully, shaking hands and dishing out high-fives all the way. By A.W. Reid Photo by Scott Alexander

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Skinny Puppy w/ Vverevvolf Grehv Tuesday, November 3, 2009 The Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC

When you woke up this morning was your eyesight distorted and your mind like goo? Did you feel like you’d dropped acid and forgot where you parked your id? Did everything just seem to be extra lame today? If you have answered yes to any of these questions there’s a good chance you were at the Skinny Puppy “In Solvent See” Tour stop at the Rickshaw last night. If you weren’t there and these symptoms still persist, you may want to seek professional help and find out what the fuck is wrong with you and why did you missed this awesome spectacle. Show opener Vverevvolf Grehv (pronounced Werewolf Grave) commenced to bend the hell out of everyone’s proverbial shit with a fleshy noise-core solo set. Comprised of Dapose (Michael Dappen) from the electronic band The Faint, Vverevvolf Grehv was one dude, a guitar, a laptop and enough distortion effects to outfit an entire Jimi Hendrix revival meeting. This is the heavy duty weirdness you’d come to expect from the opening act for such a show. Although countless hours of quality masturbation time were obviously lost in perfecting this riff laden opening set, the crowd was enthralled and a little surprised so much sound could come out of one guy. Think Wayne Static on window pane acid and you’re out of your mind, but in the ballpark. With visits as rare as hen’s teeth these days, Skinny Puppy and their aptly named “In Solvent See” Tour (R.I.P. SPV) brought the founders of electro-industrial music back to their hometown Vancouver… finally! “Rivetheads” and “Puppy People” from all walks of life converged on The Rickshaw to witness a visually stunning and musically amazing hour and a half long set by none other than the band far beyond time, space and dimension. This evening’s multimedia tour de force of mesmeric proportions included exactly what you’d expect from Skinny Puppy, multiple screens and projectors displaying creative and original visuals, Ogre’s iconic costumery and music, music, music! This night’s musical highlight had to be the amazing version of “ugLi,” resplendent

with a bajillion images of Jesus and Ogre’s vocal prowess. Truly amazing artists and musicians, Skinny Puppy never fails to impress and stimulate. Last night was no exception as a sold out Rickshaw crowd was pleased to confirm with huge applause and a lackluster job performance today at work. Eighteen long years between shows in Vancouver can almost be forgiven when Skinny Puppy puts on a phenomenal, multi-media performance of this magnitude, but if they wait that long again we may have to hunt them down like dogs… regardless of their size. By Grimm “Used Rig” Culhane Photo by Scott Alexander

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Suffocation w/ The Faceless, Suffokate and Tard

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC It’s not news that Canada’s border has fucked up more shows than overdoses and band politics combined. None the less, every time a band is denied entry from the states, fans are left disappointed and promoters are left scrambling trying to find a reliable support act without notice. Unfortunately, this Sunday at the Rickshaw was such an occasion, when both Vital Remains and Enfold Darkness had to cancel their sets due to border issues. This was a low blow for the minitour considering Annotations of an Autopsy were forced to pull out of the Vancouver show as well as the upcoming Planetary Depravity tour with the Faceless and Dying Fetus due to recent changes in US immigration policies. Luckily Suffokate –who are also on the Planetary Depravity tour were able to jump in as well as Vancouver’s own death metal heathens Tard. First up, Tard broke the news that Vital Remains would not be playing. Despite initial heckling, the crowd paid due respects to this amusingly crass, politically incorrect, recently overhauled 3 piece whose extreme death metal sound always ensures an excellent live show. Despite the line-up change, they sounded brutal as ever, this time with the entire band taking up vocal duties as they churned out such classics as “Repeat Offender” and “Sack of Shit.” Definitely a great band to watch and an excellent choice to get the crowd riled up. Next up, Suffokate from Oakland, CA took the stage to the now warmed up crowd. They certainly kept the momentum going with a hardcore inspired sound that stayed heavy as fuck throughout. With vocalist Ricky Hoover belting out some surprisingly low growls and bass player Bray Almini doing some serious head spins (with dreads) that could cause decapitations, Suffokate took over where Tard left off, inciting some impressive action in the pit. With much anticipation, Encino’s the Faceless reminded us why they are quickly becoming one of the world’s most talked about death metal acts. Although last year found them uncharacteristically nervous and reserved when they opened for Cannibal Corpse at the Croation Cultural Centre, they absolutely dominated last night. Playing through their latest album Planetary Duality in its entirety, the Faceless

showed us that complex technical death metal does not need to cause the audience to stand like deer caught in the headlights; bewildered and mind-blown. Although there was a lot of that no doubt, the boys made sure that their neck-breaking grooves got everybody moving. Opening with the first track from their latest Blood Oath, legendary death metal act Suffocation stormed the stage intent on leaving everyone in the Rickshaw bloodier and more belligerent than before. Playing a few tracks from their latest as well as Effigy of the Forgotten, Pierced from Within and their self-titled (2006), they were all non-stop power. Definitely one of the most intense live bands around, these guys, who have been together since 1989 have not lost anything over the years; in fact, they sound tighter now than ever. Drummer Mike Smith, one of the principal innovators of the blast beat, kept the pace while lead guitarist Terrance Hobbs broke up the riffs with some killer solos. Vocalist Fran Mullen, in fine form as well, made sure the crowd was on their toes –giving us some of his usual rants. With a “don’t give a fuck” attitude, relentlessly powerful vocals and commanding stage presence, Mullen is the archetype of the death metal front man. Find more photos like this on ABORT Magazine/ABORT TV’s Official Online Street Team By Alxs Ness Photo by Scott Alexander

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Propagandhi with The Rebel Spell Tuesday, October 27, 2009 The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC

The government is trying to lull us into complacence with their evil meat spell, killing brown people in the desert is the new black, and worst of all, you still don’t know how to use a toilet. Propagandhi were in town Tuesday night and best believe they brought their gripes. Hopefully they had their own bathroom, because otherwise they have a whole new set of human rights abuses to admonish: the type where humans abuse their rights to piss and litter all over the fuckin’ venue when they don’t have to clean up after. Sorry fuckface, but your admission didn’t include an invitation to be a filthy non-contributing feral child cunt. Vancouver’s own The Rebel Spell were the big buzz in the lobby. One of Van’s best loved punk bands, the Spell, fronted by a hybrid of Ivan Drago from Rocky IV and the tall Nazi from The Pianist, burned through a half hour of contempt for the global death machine, evoking memories of the glory days of Epitaph, being 14, and jacking off to Shirley Manson on MuchMusic (What’s wrong with that? – Ed) with a hot dog in the other hand. Drummer “Stepha” had the performance of the night, stealing the show and putting even Propagandhi’s Jord Samolesky to shame with her brazen shit-kicking. The Rebel Spell made the hometown audience proud and their huge draw was apparent from the number of mouths singing along. Not to mention, half the good looking girls at this cock party were in the band, so god bless ‘em for that too. Punk may be in her 30’s, but she’s no less of a motherfucker. Propagandhi took the Mike Tyson approach and threw knockouts from round 1, driving the audience mad with degenerate rage over tracks like “Back to the Motor League” and “Less Talk More Rock”. The Loser-peg residents sounded harder and tighter than ever, playing blistering two-guitar fills on matching SG’s with perfect precision and hammering out anthemic protest songs like the world depended on it. And it very well may. In an age when once-conscious bands seem increasingly apt to be let astray by money and fellatio, Propagandhi are representing the good fight with every chord. As a matter of fact,

when a stray money pouch landed on stage, founder Chris Hannah even let the audience know “someone’s disgusting leather wallet is up here…” and threw it aside. The good fight has and will forever be a magnet for selfrighteous snobs. And by the way, if gaseous meat is murder, than you’re a fucking murderer Chris Hannah, because I fart a whole chicken in your general direction. Notwithstanding this detail, Propagandhi didn’t disappoint. They are some of Canadian punk’s coolest dads and the righteous life has sharpened their sound to deadly perfection. The mixed crowd of young and old, derelict and runaway, square and hooligan all got their money’s worth, along with the added satisfaction of knowing that conscious Canadian rock is in good hands for now. Look for Supporting Caste, in stores now. By Nigel Mojica Photo by Jamie Sands

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Hatebreed w/ Cannibal Corpse, Unearth, Born of Osiris and Hate Eternal Wednesday, December 2, 2009 The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Canada

A black shroud of doom descended upon Vancouver when brutal death metal band Hate Eternal kicked off the Decimation of the Nation 2 show at the Commodore this Wednesday. It was difficult not to notice how nonsensical it was that a well established and respected act like Hate Eternal, who have been going strong for 12 years would be opening for the trendy and relatively new (2 years) Born of Osiris. It’s unfortunate too considering that this meant they were only able to play 3 songs. Regardless of the short set time however, it was immediately obvious that this 3-piece packs a heavy punch and achieves a more massive sound than many 6-piece bands. While Born of Osiris seem to fit the description of the kind of fly-by-night metalcore band that has been springing up overnight the last few years (and disappearing just as quick), credit should be given where credit is due. With a sound that has strong death metal and metalcore elements, they were a sensible choice as segue into Unearth. Besides their sound, their extremely energetic set brought the undead momentarily back to life in anticipation of the non-stop action of the latter’s set. Though looking slightly road-worn, Unearth were able to pull it together and perform their signature energetic live-show to full effect. Always one to set the crowd ablaze, the Massachusetts based metalcore band got everyone onto the floor. Tracks like “Sanctity of Brothers”, “My Will Be Done” and “Black Hearts Now Reign” –in which guitarists Ken and Buz threw their cabs onto the stage and shredded on top of them- got a strong crowd response. Keeping the energy flowing until the very end, vocalist Trevor Phipps provoked the crowd into giving it everything they had; reminding us that while only 30 seconds remained, this was our chance at 30 seconds of energy and pure aggression. Cannibal Corpse started their set with “Evisceration Plague.” With its slow, driving riffs, this is the perfect song to get the crowd warmed up and prepared for the insanity to follow with favorites such as “I Cum Blood”, “Make Them Suffer” and “Hammer Smashed Face.” Like Unearth, Corpse seemed slightly worn-out; evidenced mainly in less head spins than usual by Corpsegrinder. None the less, they put on a great show and Corpsegrinder, despite a slightly less than average (for him) amount of head banging, still kicked the asses of everyone trying to match him. In this vein he put out one of the best quotes I’ve heard in quite some time “short hair is not a fucking excuse.” There’s the challenge, good luck trying to meet it.

Final act of the night, Hatebreed, paid many respects to Cannibal Corpse throughout their set, even dedicating one of the last songs of the night, “Perseverance” to them. The humility did not end there as frontman Jamey Jasta recounted a story of a tour they did in Japan, where they lost their guitars and only one band out of 40 at a particular show stepped up to the plate to lend them their gear. This band was Slayer. They followed the story with the cover “Ghosts of War” which is featured on their highly successful cover album For the Lions. They also played a number of songs from their latest album (self-titled) which was released worldwide back in October. With a solid mix of newer and older material, the crowd was united on the floor with a steady dose of heavy and empowering tracks. By Alxs Ness Photo By Scott Alexander

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21 & Under with…..


egendary Pixies frontman Frank Black shares a few choice words with ABORT Magazine’s Grimm Culhane in green room of Vancouver’s Media Club. Topics range from the early days of The Pixies to the present state of the music business to how weed can enhance your skills at parallel parking. Who says rock stars don’t have something valuable to contribute to society… besides the music of course.

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Grimm Culhane: Hi this is Grimm Culhane for ABORT Magazine, we’re here with… Frank Black… also known as… Frank Black: Black Francis.

ABORT: Yep. Frank: Also known as… that’s it.

ABORT: That’s you. Frank: The government knows me as something else, but we don’t need to talk about that.

ABORT: Me as well, so yeah, fair enough. Let’s get right down to it. We spoke briefly about this before we started, but where are you in your career right now? What stage as a musician are you in? Frank: Probably, like a lot of people, approaching a sort of rocky area really in terms of the business, in terms of the finance because people aren’t buying CDs. The record companies are all up in arms, everyone and their mother is out on the road so of course trying to book a tour is difficult because either the clubs are all full, you can’t get in on the night you want to get in for or the patrons have been to six shows that month and if you’re not hot you’re only going to get the real faithful. If you’ve got a little bit of hotness going on of course everyone’s at your

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show. I just turned down a little tour because there just wasn’t enough money. It was like; I can’t go on tour with 7 or 8 guys, a band, a crew and a bus and everything and make any money, so I said no. Having said that, you’ve been around for a long time if you have some credibility, if you have some “street cred” and suddenly Mexico’s calling, or suddenly Australia’s calling, or suddenly hey there’s some festival in Iowa that wants to pay you a boatload of money to go there and do your thing. So you have this credibility factor, some sort of name recognition so you’re allowed in various doors. That’s a kind of stability I suppose that I’ve always had as a result of The Pixies or as a result of remaining, if not hot, at least busy. I haven’t been sitting around with people wondering “where the hell’s he been for ten years?” I probably, if anything, have too many records coming out. “How ‘bout this? How ‘bout that?” You know? I’m always trying something new.

ABORT: With record sales plummeting and tours harder to book, what remains vital to you as an artist? Frank: As long as I stay in print, that’s all I care about. That’s the only thing I’m really striving for. Stay in print, just like Lou Reed, just like Iggy Pop. Keep ‘em in print and you never know. You might make a record that’s a real classic record that may not even be applauded when it comes out, but if it’s a good record eventually people will figure it out and go, “oh yeah, that Lust for Life record, that’s a good record,” you know what I mean? Now it’s a classic record. I’m sure in 1978 people weren’t going “touché Iggy,” they were going “what the fuck old dude? Have you heard of the Ramones or the Sex Pistols?” or whoever he was competing with at the time. You got this guy David Bowie producing and look at all the guitar solos on this thing. He was playing at a club like this (The Media Club) I’m sure. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen some footage from back in the day of Iggy in 1978 on his tour and he wasn’t playing stadiums or anything. He’s on a little night club tour. I didn’t hear that record until 5 or 6 years after it came out. There I was in college an I found this used copy of Lust For Life and The Idiot and that’s when I became a convert. And now, of course, you turn on the TV and “bomp bomp bomp, bomp bomp ba dada bomp” there it is. Everyone in the world has heard that song.

“I want to remain chief of my own operations. I don’t want to work for “The Man.” I don’t want to work for someone else. I don’t want to -Frank Black

terms about music. I love music. I love this record. I love that record and it wasn’t about how famous you’re going to be or what party you going to get invited to? It was pure. I was a young kid listening to music so when I got into it seriously when I was about 19 or 20 and I tried to start a band called The Pixies it was still pure and it was involved in what was called “alternative rock” or what was at the time called “college rock” or “indie rock.” It was not about trying to be like whatever the mediocre, top 50 that was going on. It was anti-that. It was about doing something against it all. So that’s where I come from.

ABORT: So what’s more important the cult status or is it the monetary gain?

ABORT: Is touring now as a solo act in smaller clubs reminiscent of the early days starting out with The Pixies?

Frank: I want to remain chief of my own operations. I don’t want to work for “The Man.” I don’t want to work for someone else. I don’t want to have to compromise my art. I don’t want to have to do some super favour record deal kind of thing where give up my artistic freedom. Do I really want to have some sort of lowest common denominator hit? Do I really want some sort of mozzarella sticks song? Do I really want to have the sort of…

Frank: I remember this club in Boston, its gone now, it was called The Ratskellar, “The Rat,” they called it, and that’s where The Pixies used to play a lot of their early gigs and this dressing room… I swear, its like I’m there again. Now this was New England so things are older there, the buildings are older, but its like I’m there again. Very strange. Almost surreal, like a flashback or something.

ABORT: Flash in the pan kind of thing? Frank: Yeah. Do I really want to do that or do I want to have some sort of integrity and stick around for a long time and have a career and make some interesting records and be true to myself and cultivate that? That’s my path. That’s the way I started out. I mean I love The Beatles and I love The Who and Led Zeppelin and everything, but when I was a kid I didn’t view it in those terms. I viewed it in pure

ABORT: Does that response infer a liking for drugs? Perhaps not now, but in the early days? Frank: No…

ABORT: Ok, how about weed? Frank: No. I used to smoke weed when Abort I was younger, in my 20s and a little bit when I was in my 30s, but at some point I just stopped. I still enjoy the fragrance

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drugs. A double espresso, doppio macchiato is about as intense as I can get. I was never really that good with the weed. I enjoyed it at the beginning, but then I was smoking and smoking and suddenly its six o’clock in the morning and there I was with my cigar. Not a lot of self control. I’m not good for the drugs.

ABORT: Did it help you creatively in that early period? Frank: No. Never. I always owned that too, I never pretended that I was creative. The only thing I could do better under the influence of marijuana was double parking. Pulling into a parking space (SNAPS FINGERS!) one move! It didn’t matter how tight it was, that was the only thing I could do.

Both: (LAUGH) Frank: Other than that, what do you do? Eat potato chips I guess. I had two glasses of wine, in preparation so to speak, for our interview. Simple, nothing special, but that’s about it.

ABORT: Ah, sure, I understand. I had a Slurpee so… I’m totally peaking right now. Frank: (LAUGHS) I can’t drink when I’m playing… well… I CAN drink when I’m playing, but what I do is tend to stumble, tend to forget lyrics, that sort of thing, especially an acoustic show. Its very nerve wracking because the faithful are there and they’re just right with you every couplet and you mess up and they’re all “hey, he missed the line.” They don’t miss anything! That’s why I tend to not drink.

ABORT: One last question. I’m curious, what does the future hold for you?

Frank and Grimm

Frank: Well I’ve always got little gigs, little tours, so I’ll be doing that. I’m always looking for an excuse to make a record so I’m always thinking about that. If I have some time I get a free pass from my wife for a few days away from the house and the kids and I’ll just show up at the studio and I won’t even have songs most of the time. Let’s just start playing, whatever, we’ll make a song out of it somehow.

BOTH: (Laugh) Frank: That’s kind of where I’m working at right now and I’m liking that. Ok, I made a Herman Brood concept album, what do I do now? Wikipedia, random article search, you know?

ABORT: (LAUGHS) Frank: I did that for two hours one night until I finally stumbled upon something that I was all “ah, ok, I can get into this.”

and talking with us Frank. Frank: Oh, hey, no problem. I really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you very much.

The Pixies ‘Minotaur’ Box Set is in Stores Now By Grimm Culhane Special thanks to Eric Alper of E1 Canada

BOTH: (LAUGH) ABORT: I appreciate you taking the time

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THE YEAR IN REVOLT: The Best of 2009 – STAFF PICKS! It’s our Annual Best of Lists and we thought we would start with our spoiled & ungrateful staff who don’t give a shit about anything but themselves …and so they should. They work hard, play hard, fuck hard and have major egos that they richly deserve for all their volunteered hours and dedicated effort. For this - we salute you. You fucking cocksuckers. E.S. “ Insert any curse word, domestic or foreign” Day – Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

1. BEST ALBUM- Nothing. A horrible year for music. E.S Day 2. BEST LIVE SHOW/CONCERT – Lamb of God at UBC (for the simple fact Randy Blythe gave the magazine props in front of 6000 kids – thanks bro!) 3. BEST FILM - Bronson 4. BEST CLUB/LIVE VENUE The Rickshaw 5. BEST LOCAL GROUP/BAND – Tie: Ninjaspy/Without Mercy (as usual) 6. BEST ART GALLERY – The Fall 7. BEST PLACE TO DO DRUGS – Anywhere, it’s Vancouver dumbfuck! 8. BEST PLACE TO LAUGH AT HIPSTERS Tie: Commercial Drive/Facebook 9. VANCOUVER WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IF – I wasn’t living here, but I love the weed and lack of snow 10. BEST/ONLY REASON I’M WORKING FOR FREE FOR ABORT MAGAZINE – Have nothing better to do while waiting to exit the earth. Grimm “I like putting names in the middle of my name” Culhane - Managing Editor (Vancouver)

1. Fu Manchu - Signs of Infinite Power 2. Eagles of Death Metal 3. Drag Me to Hell/ District 9 (tie!) 4. The Rickshaw Grimm 5. Ninjaspy (still!) 6. Jem Gallery 7. Any alley in East Van will do, but jeez, with the amount of drugs I do how am I supposed to remember something like

that? 8. Car accidents/The City Morgue (tie!) 9. Cavity searches were all year round and not just during the Olympics. 10. I’m working for fucking free!? Dave “Don’t answer that, it’s just Scott” McCallum, Hip-Hop Editor

1. Rira - Horses Work For Donkey’s Wages 2. Rock the Bells 2009 3. Global Metal 4. The Rickshaw Theatre 5. Team Killawatt

Dave M

6. The Alleys of the Downtown Eastside 7. Backstage at Rock the Bells 8. Commercial Drive “Drivefest”, more like “Driveitintothefuckinggroundfest”! 9. ...if people would have the balls to call bullshit on all the fakes and support the real. 10. I enjoy the steady stream of emotional abuse I receive from the editor, it reminds me of my ex..... ARCEON aka Sergii “Son of Bitch” Kurstak – Managing Editor (Europe)

1. In Strict Confidence - My Despair 2. Killswitch Engage at PNE 3 District 9 Arceon

4. Commodore Ballroom 5. Ninjaspy

6. Vancouver Art Gallery (or whatever the fuck it is where they have those hilarious exhibitions no one ever goes to 7. Scott’s place of course 8. At a hip show 9. Vancouver would be a better place to live if (wait for it) it wasn’t Vancouver. 10. Because it rocks and everything you drink is on the rocks and you can listen to a multitude of rocks. SCOTT “ AAA” ALEXANDER – Photo Editor

1. PI Nature, Ninjaspy - Zestone


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2. Emilie Autumn - Rickshaw Theatre 3. Lesbian Vampire Killers (just for the title) 4. Commodore 5. Fake Shark, Real Zombie / Ninjaspy 6. THE FALL

bad 10. Taking my sweet time submitting photos to cause Scott as much stress as possible... WUTANG!!! ALXS “Arrrrrrrrggggghhh” NESS - Staff Writer (Queen of The Damned)

7. Main and Hastings

1. Cannibal Corpse -Evisceration Plague

8. The Astoria

2. Dethklok/Mastodon (Vancouver)

9. If people actually cared about things.. for example, metal heads at LAMB OF GOD acting like well behaved toddlers going to see Raffi 10. Free swag

3. BEST FILM- Nothing 4. The Commodore 5. Theocide 6. Centre A

DANIEL “Slackerack” BACHARACH - Senior Layout/Art Director (Nanaimo, BC)

1. Raekwon - OB4CL2 2. Gallows’ set @ Warped Tour 3. That porno with Sarah Palin

7. The Bus 8. The Bus


9. there were more venues for live music, especially metal 10. sadomasochistic tendencies

4. In Nanaimo? I dunno...the Cambie? 5. Rorschach 6. In Nanaimo? I dunno, there really isn’t one...the one at the school? 7. At the waterfront 8. The Georgia Straight 9. I was addicted to meth. 10.The street cred, the hunnies, the free narcotics and the blowies from scott. JAMIE “The Colonel” SANDS - Staff photographer /Videographer ABORT TV


1. Fuck 2009 2. Dropkick Murphys 3. Zombieland 4. Commodore Ballroom 5. Run With The Heard or Azrael of Imaginations Treetrunk 6. Fuck Artists and Photographers


7. In a Bong 8. On Main Street while throwing granola and scarfs in to busy lanes of traffic 9. ...if we had copious amounts of grass, beautiful girls everywhere and waterfalls of liquor....hummm 2 out of 3 ain’t

Continued >

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AJANI “Regarding Photographic Images” Charles

KASSANDRA “Blow my fucking brains out” GUAGLIARDI – Staff Writer

1. A tie between Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3” And The Clipse’s “Til The Casket Drops”

1. Method Man & Redman - Blackout! 2

2. Rock The Bells (Toronto)

2. Rock the Bells Ajani

3. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”

3. Coraline

4. The MOD Club -- I’ve taken some great pictures there

4.Fortune Soundclub

5. In terms of live performances, it’s a tie between Melanie Fiona and Saukrates

5.Bogus Tokus 6.Chapel Arts

6. The AGO


7.East Van

7. Kindred Cafe

8.Scott’s inbox

8. Queen Street West

9.Less rain, better dance parties and liquor sold at 711

9. Toronto would be a better if talented independent artists supported one another even more so than they currently do

10. So I can hand out business cards (and scam free ticketsEd)

10. It adds to my world domination Joel “ I got the blues” Parent aka Ninjoelspy – Staff Writer/ Ninjaspy frontman/guitarist

NIGEL” Green, Yellow and Brown” MOJICA – Staff Writer

1. Cormega - Born and Raised

1. Mastodon- Crack the Skye

2. Brother Ali @ The Venue

2. Tom Morello - The Nightwatchman

3. Drag Me To Hell... or Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

3 .Inglorious basterds Nigel

4. The Black Pirate Pub,Thunder Bay, Ontario

4. The Rickshaw 5. The Rebel Spell

5. Canada: What’s He Building in There?

6. X Gallery

Vancouver: Whitey

7. The Downtown East Side

6. BEST ART GALLERY The Tokyo Ninja Lemming featuring the works of meghan corsie, Laura pummell, John Bowen, Eva Dominelli, Brad Croshaw, the purple house crew and team crew.

8. Funky Winker Beans 9. I could read minds! 10. you meen I no gat pay? I did ate a whole onion tho!

7.The boss’ desk

A.W. “Unusually thick penis” REID – Staff Writer

8. Its not even funny anymore. 9. Uncle Fatih got a cloning machine 10. I work for abort magazine?!


1. DOOM - Born Like This 2. White Lung 3. District 9 4. The Commodore 5. White Lung 6. The VAG 7. Laser/Disco bowling night Grandview Lanes, Commercial Drive. 8. Their mom’s bed 9. It rained liquor and cigarettes 10. The money I’m secretly embezzling.


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NICK “ I’m not Dave” TCHIR – Layout/Art Dept.

1. August Burns Red-Constellations 2. DOOM CANNON ft. My Daughter the Ranger, A Textbook Tragedy 3. Star Trek 4. Commodore Ballroon


5. DOOM CANNON 6. The one I havn’t made yet 7. Spinning on top of the Habour Center 8. American Apparel and Funky Winkerbeans 9. It would be a better place to live if ther served beer at Mcdonalds. 10. They don’t give a fuck about what you think

DAVE “ I’m not Nick” GRAHAM – Layout/Graphic Designer

1. The Echo Verses by The Arusha Accord 2. Architects with Misery Signals Vancouver B.C June 2009 3. Inglorious Basterds 4. The Bourbon 5. Doom Cannon


6. The Fall 7. Any McDonalds bathroom 8. Cambie 9. Vancouver would be a better place to live if there were less douchebags. 10. It makes me look cool.

Continued >

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JONATHAN ”Why didn’t you use my Backgrounds?” PARSONS - Contributor/Transcriber (North Carolina, USA) 1. SLAYER - WORLD PAINTED BLOOD 2. QUEENSRYCHE w/LITA FORD 3. ZOMBIELAND 4. THE ORANGE PEEL 5.: BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME



ALEXANDRIA “I don’t live in Prince George” LEE – INTERN/TRANSCRIBER 1. Five Finger Death Punch- The Way of the Fist 2. AC/DC 3. The Union 4. Sweatshop (R.I.P) 5. Taal Mala


6. Emily Carr Grad show- Artist- Jeffery Hallbauer 7. blood alley 8. Granville st. 9. traffic wasn’t the shits. 10. To smoke weed with the boss

Lost but not forgotten. Actually, make that just plain old – lost.: Jimmy Lynch, Sarah Hamilton, Gary Lachance, Eva Vulgar, John Norby, Sylvia McFadden, Chris Webber.

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The Year in Revolt::

Shooting Gallery -Scott Alexander

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The Year in Revolt::

Shooting Gallery -Ajani charles

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The Year in Revolt:

Shooting Gallery -jamie sands

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The ABORT Interview

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ABORT: First off, let’s break the ice. In the mainstream public’s eye in 2009, the DJ/Turntablist: an overrated novelty or an underrated musician? Z-Trip: Both. I think, depending on the DJ. Certain cats have a bit of hype behind them, just like you would with any band, a boy band like the Backstreet Boys or something. They’ve got a big hype behind them, a big push. Then you’ve got plenty of cats who have been putting in the work or still do put in the work who aren’t as acknowledged. I mean, that’s kind of anything, whether it be DJs or bands, you’re always gonna have the hyped up entity and you’re always gonna have the underground underdog so to speak. It’s kind of relative.

Do you ever feel like, to keep your spot, you need to tailor for your listenership? Z-Trip: Sometimes. But, for me, I can only do that so much before I feel like I’m giving in and I think it’s important to always be able to throw a couple curve balls- even if it clears the dance floor or gives people, y’know, not the best reaction to you. Sometimes you need that just to keep a balance because you can’t please everyone in the room at the same time. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s unintentional but, I think, so long as you keep it somewhat unpredictable from time to time, for me, I feel like I’m doing my job. It depends also on the crowd you play for to. Some people only want stuff that’s familiar that they can digest, other people totally want stuff that’s unfamiliar, and then you’ve gotta figure out how to navigate through those crowds by sort of giving each entity enough of what they want while also satisfying yourself by playing enough things that you want to push on a crowd that you really want to champion or that you’re behind.

Is there anything you mash up in the basement where you’re like, “shit, I could never put this out” or “people are gonna hate this and I’ll put it out for that reason”? Z-Trip: Well, yeah there’s been time where I’ve found some stuff where I’m like “this is just so incredible, but it might miss a lot of people.”

For example? Z-Trip: Shit, I can’t think of an example off the top of my head but there’s always that thing that’s too experimental or too over the top but

there’s always a time and a place to drop a thing. Sometimes I’ll come up with a mix and I’ll sit on it for months because I’m like, “naw, this isn’t the right crowd,” then all of a sudden I’m in front of, like, a jam band crowd and I’m like “these guys are- this totally them” and it’s like you drop it and they’re like “Fuck yeah!” Just because you have a cool mix doesn’t mean it’s the right time and place to drop it. Sometimes you have to let something incubate for a while, yknow. There’s also plenty of mixes that I’ve done that are the opposite, where I’ll do it and I’ll be like, “aw, no one’s gonna fucking feel this” and everyone feels it and it becomes like an anthem. There’s th: e thing I did with Shadow and, uh, Janis Joplin. I did a mix with those two and I thought “this is way too heavy for a club,” and then I’m in a club and people are like, “play that tune!” and then I play it and the club’s like “Yeah!”. So sometimes it totally goes against what you think. A lot of times towards the end of my set I’ll throw a curve-ball and usually that’s what people come up to me about after. I think it’s important to do that, to not always play it safe.

they have to say there. And, if you’re trying to push your political views on people they’ve heard it all before; they’ve got their mind made up. On top of that, they’re the one’s going and fighting so your view doesn’t mean shit to them.” And that really sort of made me go, “you know what, that’s good, because then this needs to just be about giving them a little bit of, y’know, something to go with..” So the song that I played. I did my whole set and at the very end I played this song by Adele called “Hometown Glory”. It’s a really mellow tune with keys and the message in it is kind of interesting the way the song came to me. Right before we left I was trying to find something to rally behind “home”‘cause nobody can really shit on home. If I say, “hey, we want

What do you think was the ballsiest thing you ever did for a crowd? Z-Trip: You know the ballsiest thing I ever did, I think, was when I played for the troops in Kuwait. They flew me out there to do this Myspace event called “Operation Myspace” and it was me, The Pussycat Dolls, Jessica Simpson, Filter, and... what was the other band...rock band...shit. It was the fuckin “OOO WAA-AA-AA” that fuckin band, what’s their...

Jamie Sands:: Disturbed? Z-Trip: Disturbed! Thanks, anyway, it was the most random thing because, when they asked me to do it they said “ya, I think Chris Cornell’s gonna be in it,” and a couple other people and I thought, “aw cool, Chris Cornell.” Audioslave, Rage, I see the connection, at least I’d find somebody I could kinda bond with, and I’ll get to the song I dropped, but the process to get there was a little crazy because I didn’t want people to think my doing this equated to my support for the war so I was really sorta hesitant. So I ended up calling Chuck D. I was like “Chuck, dude I need some guidance. I grew up listening to protest music like yours, y’know, Last Poets. Me going out to do this thing for the troops, I’m a little freaked out about how people might respond to that.” And he was like, “y’know what, this is really about the troops. Go out there and give them something. This isn’t really about anything else.” I was still a little on the fence and I had Shepard Fairey reach out to Henry Rollins. Rollins gave me some feedback and was like, “This show isn’t about you it’s about them. At the end of the day you get to come home,

you guys all to come home,” who could really front on that? That’s sort of an omni-stance where it’s like I wouldn’t get in trouble with all the guys who were gung ho, who signed up to go fight and kick ass. And also, if I throw that out there, who’s gonna argue about wanting to come home and be with their people. So, at the end of my set - they were videotaping the whole show, it’s online, you can actually go check it out. I noticed that all the performers who were playing were like, “we love you guys, we love you guys,” and trying to, you know, show their support and my thing was like, “y’know what, this is my last song and I want to play a song for the people that are at home watching you. Turn the cameras

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off me and put them on the crowd.” For the whole song. It’s like a 5 minute long song. It was crazy because once we did that it took all the attention off me and put it on troops so the people at home could see their loved ones and shit. And the crazy- the ballsiest thing getting to answer your question, sorry it’s so long winded. The ballsiest thing was at the very end of the set, I had a Jello Biafra sample, and the Jello Biafra sample was “We support our troops,” I threw that at the very end and everyone was like, “Yeaaah!” but the whole line was “We support our troops most because we say bring them home.” So I did “We support our troops,” “yeah!” “We support our troops,” “yeah!” and at the very end I was like “We support our troops most because we say bring them home!” and it was like “AAAAHHH!” but also at the end you could hear yelling out, like, “finish the job!” so it was really sorta..tough. As a side note to that, what’s really cool was that I got a lot of people hitting me up on Myspace the next day like “Hey, I got to see my son or my uncle or whatever. Thank you for pointing the cameras on people,” and there was one chick in particular who was like, “I was sitting there looking at the screen trying to see my boyfriend with his mother. We were sitting there and they panned across the screen and you saw his face and he was mouthing the words ‘I love you Brooke, I love you Brooke’“ and they saw that and both broke down and cried and that sort of touched me because that, to me, is what it was about. I can tell you one other thing, this is the one camp they all go to before they get shipped off to go fight.

On a political tip, one thing you’re known for is being very active during the Obama campaign. You put out “Victory Lap” when he won. So now, eight months into the presidency, how are you feeling about America and about the presidency?

Z-Trip: Well, there are certainly things that I’m a

bit bummed a b o u t . T h e r e ’ s certainly things I’m excited about. I’m excited about a little bit of a push to take Cuba off the shit list. Should’ve been done years ago. I like the fact that he’s trying to take a stand and

call out some of the Republicans for drumming up all this bullshit about the health bill that he’s trying to pass. But there’s also plenty of things where I feel he’s not taking a big enough stand in sort of putting it out there. But again, it’s also still relatively early in his presidency for me to start pulling opinions on it. I will say that I wish he’d be a bit more aggressive because I feel like he’s trying to cater to both sides and while

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I understand that I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think the time to cater to both sides is over. Because, as much as he’s trying to cater to that Republican side, those people don’t give a fuck one way or the other and you’re not going to convert anybody. I think the time to say “ok, well I tried to work with you, now I’m gonna try to do what’s best,” that’s gotta happen because if not, I think he’s gonna end up pissing off more people and putting a bigger wedge between the two. Either way I’m happy we elected him and not Mclain. I think Mclain would’ve been a pretty bad mistake.

Do you take comfort in the fact that Obama says “Jackass”? Z-Trip: (laughs) I take comfort in the fact that Obama says he smoked AND inhaled. I think that’s actually a cool thing. It’s appropriate to have a president that’s a little more in touch, I think it helps.

Getting back to the music, we’ve seen you remix Nirvana and Canada’s own Rush, would you consider doing more mixing on a rock or metal tip? Z-Trip: Absolutely. There’s a project I’m working on called “Hellraiser” and it’s pretty much a metal-based project. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years but it’s something that’s also taken me a lot of time because I want to do it right and also I have not label push that’s cracking a whip on me, so it’s something I’m gonna do as I want to do it. But I’ve always fucked around with metal and I’ve always appreciated metal. It’s kind of where I come from. I come from this metal background and this hip-hop background back when it wasn’t really too cool to have a foot in both worlds. It’s interesting because i feel like there’s plenty of people who appreciate both and they both have a lot of the same qualities and that’s something I’ve always notice and recognized. I started playing drums before anything. So there’s this Hellraiser project I’m doing that’s really sorta the project I’ve always wanted to do but, y’know, waiting for the right people, getting the right guitarist, the right players because it’s the kind of music that you need a lot of skill to play. Also, I’ve heard people sample or try and do metal shit and if you don’t come from a metal background it’s totally transparent. For me I don’t want to do it half-assed. I recorded two or three songs with this band Dub Trio who are friends of mine; they’re great. We recorded a couple things but we’re still noodling around with some stuff, but we were talking about doing a whole project together. Those guys to me are an incredible band because they’re playing metal and dub and it’s instrumental and those are like my three favorite things. There’s plenty of musicians from that world and I’m trying to knock on their door like, “hey guys, I got this idea..” but it’s still, oddly enough, a bit foreign for this hip-hop DJ to be knocking on their door going “hey man, let’s make this hip-hop metal record because some people still have a hard time figuring out how they work well, but I know exactly how they work well.

And how is that? Z-Trip: Well, they both embody a lot of the same energy and the same message. A lot of protest in their music. A lot of people feeling like they’re being discriminated against whether it’s because you have long hair, because you’re black, or you don’t fit the mold of society, whatever it is. There are a lot of protest vibes within all of it and you know it’s funny because hip-hop, early hip-hop, a lot of the protest hip-hop and a lot of the acknowledged stuff whether it be D.P. or Public Enemy or whoever. Those guys were teaching me things and giving all this ammo that I didn’t know was out there about all sorts of different styles, whether it me music or culture or politics, and the same thing I was getting from metal. It was like this underdog mentality hearing these guys belt out these tunes and be ridiculed against and fighting back. Also, good versus evil, the clichés of that. The funny thing is, you can find the common thread through all music. You can find it in country, in blue, it’s all there, and you just have to figure out how to tie the two together.

Hip-hop and metal are both forms of musical extremism. Z-Trip: Oh completely. There are people who have crossed those bridges. Y’know, when P.E. linked up with Anthrax, that was a huge connect. Run DMC and Aerosmith, although it wasn’t metal it was still both sides of the tracks.

Laim Howlett from Prodigy’s “Dirtchamber Sessions”... Z-Trip: Exactly, there’s so many. There’s people out there who do it and do it well but it’s few and far between. I think it takes someone who respects and understands both. It’s funny, I listen to anyone who tries to incorporate hip-hop into their world, but if you’re not from a hip-hop world, all the people from hip-hop will hear your song and be like “oh, this is a faker,” y’know? Same thing with metal. You have to love both kinds of music and you have to appreciate and have knowledge of both. To me, Rick Rubin is the ultimate conduit for that. A guy who did Cool J, Run DMC, and ends up doing System and Slayer’s first fuckin records. He’s got an ear for it and a love for it. He’s a huge influence to me.

Thank you so much for speaking with us Z-Trip: Word

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TO THE POINT: The Company Band!s Neil Fallon

Dave Bone’s Recipe for an Anti-Supergroup I Cup, finely chopped Clutch 1 Clove, minced Fu Manchu 1 Thinly sliced Fireball Ministry

By E.S. Day Photo by Jamie Sands

1 Pound of raw CKY Mix in blender until thick and heavy, pour into bowl Submerge face into bowl, drown and enjoy! Serves 6 Billion

E.S. Day: we are on the phone with Neil Fallon from The Company band also from the band Clutch but today we are focusing on The Company Band. Which I guess Neil we could say is a rock supergroup, or are you already fed up with that tag? Neil Fallon: Well we are no Chickenfoot.

ABORT: Holy fuck, now you just fucking ruined my first bit, I had a whole thing on Chickenfoot, so thanks Neil (laughs). So rock supergroup. Let’s just say this; to me I am in my forties, growing up - a rock supergroup to me would be like you just mentioned, Chickenfoot, where you bring in all these guys but The Company Band seems to be more of a conglomerate of good buddies from some, really well followed and respected bands who got together to jam and then made an album out of it. Is that more or less what it is? You’re not marketing this as a supergroup?

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Neil: No, supergroup is just such a terrible moniker. I wouldn’t want to be in a super group to be quite honest. this started I think Jesse [Margera, drummer CKY]wanted me to sing on some and then we kind of, everybody just hit it off so we said lets make more music simply because its fun.

ABORT: Now for our readers who don’t know, lets run down the rest of the band members and respectably the bands there in. Jesse you just mentioned is from CKY. Neil: Correct and we have Jim Rona from Fireball Ministry and we have Brad Davis from Fu Manchu.

ABORT: Fu Manchu, we just gave their new album a great review as well. Now by the way we are missing Dave Bone, my bad. Neil: Dave Bone, in all fairness, he is kind of the man behind the curtain for this band. He writes a lions share of the music and spear heads everything for us and i think sometimes he doesn’t get the credits he deserves because simply he doesn’t have another band to kind of put him in that positions but he is the man behind the wheel a lot of ways

“Yeah I mean if you’re in a band and you call yourself stoner rock then your probably not.” label is that? and who’s doing distribution?

Neil: Candlelight is putting it out and we put venture capital on the back sort of as a goof. Venture capital is not really a record label.

ABORT: So that’s it, so we are looking at worldwide release or North American with a different distributor from Europe. Neil: You know I don’t have the answer for that. - Neil Fallon ABORT: no problem and we don’t need one I just thought I would ask. Is it safe to say that band each member has been listening to each member’s music previous to this? Neil: Sure

ABORT: That just fucked up my next question is Dave the odd man out. cuz when you say Dave Bone a question mark comes to mind i mean for most people who aren’t in the now?

ABORT: Yeah for sure, you guys are all fans or each other etc...

Neil: He is sort of like the Karl Rove of the band. He has the power he’s just not in the limelight.

ABORT: Oh wow, good stuff. That was back when a lot of that and here we go again…with the moniker “Stoner Metal” or “stoner rock” or “sludge”, but that stuff was a real underground genre then. If you Google stoner rock its ridiculous what comes up, everybody is stoner now and I just fucking hate that it drives me nuts, same views from you?

ABORT: Fair enough. So Dave Bone is the backbone (no pun) behind The Company Band. Is he the one who got the band started so to speak, or initiated the idea of putting together an album and doing some touring? Neil: Well if I remember correctly and I probably don’t, Jesse contacted Jim and then Jim had known Dave and I hadn’t known Dave and once he stepped into the picture things just kind of fell into the scenario and there was no blueprint to begin with, it just ended up that way.

Neil: well clutch toured with CKY and we’ve also done a run of shows with fireball ministry and we also toured with Fu Manchu, man that was in ‘94 was the first tour.

Neil: Yes, it’s terrible. Yeah I mean if you’re in a band and you call yourself stoner rock then your probably not. And its the description or moniker that’s terrible. Most of the bands that get lumped into that just can’t stand it and I understand why and it did matter when it was interesting and fresh about fifteen years ago but like most things that people jump onto it becomes derivative and then you get second, third and fourth generations and then it just comes the lowest common denominator and who gives a fuck.

ABORT: fair enough. Doing a Bachman-turner Overdrive cover I hear

ABORT: Restricted Release, what Neil: yes

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ABORT: Any other Canadian acts that is on your iPod right now we are a Canadian magazine, so you better say the right thing. Neil: okay well..

ABORT: Don’t say Rush for Christ sake, but are you listening to any other Canadian stuff? Neil: Well, Neil Young is one of my favorite artists, he’s timeless.

ABORT: Oh okay, how about some of the newer bands like Die Mannequin? or people that are trying to break out of that Canadian shell at least that the CanCon shadow. Neil: You know to be quite honest you would be hard pressed for me to mention new American bands let alone a Canadian band.

ABORT: Fair enough, well we will move on then. Would it be safe to say that the company band consists of a lot of groups that get together your doing the BTO cover are there any other tracks live if not on record. Neil: we did this Freddie King tune umm live that we didn’t put on the record but that’s the only one to be quite honest we only have 12- well I guess 15 songs as a band so once we get a couple more under our belt we will worry about some cover songs.

ABORT: okay now you guys have put out the EP 2007 Sign here, here and here. Was that a poke at the industry, a little stab?

Neil: Uh a little, it wasn’t so much pointed at the music industry as corporate clichés

ABORT: are you trying to get any kind of message across on stage or you just don’t give a fuck your just playing some good music and that’s that. It’s what this band is all about. No message just music?

Neil: yeah there you go. I’m not intelligent enough to give a message

ABORT: Good, nor am I or our readers, so good - we will leave it at that.(laughs) what are we looking at for touring Neil, for the Company band in 2009- 2010?

Neil: its tough, it’s not going to happen in 2009 but we are looking to do some things at the top of 2010. It’s very difficult because half of us are in California and half of us are out east and we’ve all got our other things going on. Hopefully we will be able to do something early in January if not we definably want to buckle down and get something before to long

ABORT: True, and of course I cannot get off the phone without asking a Clutch question. What’s next for Clutch? and what are the plans for recording, touring, etc.. if you can drop a quick dime? Neil: Sure, the band takes off for Europe for four weeks, come back then do a Us quick week long around new years, then uh Australia in February then we are looking to start writing the new record

ABORT: tentative title? Neil: Oh, we have to write some songs first.

ABORT: Label? Neil: Uh, we have our own label now.

ABORT: And what else, that’s about it. The Company band album is self-titled and is out now via Restricted Release, available on iTunes and of course you can visit the band at www.MySpace/thecoband. Look for the band on tour hopefully in 2010 and that’s about it. I appreciate your time, thank you very much. Neil: Thanks for the opportunity.

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Paint TheTown Dead: Corvid Scans the I.D. of Vancouver’s Hip-Hop Scene ou know, ever since they tore Granville Street up like raw Y anal rape and brought in this bitchass “Clubsafe” bullshit, old Corvid’s been out on the town less and less lately. I mean, who really wants to endure the body search (that often amounts to the most action I’ll get on any given night...), ID scan and digital photo shot, let alone the humorless attitude of the ‘roid-raging meathead bouncers (half of whom used to work for Mossad...) who only smile when they’re dragging some poor fuck out back for a smackdown? What the fuck would Prodigy say? Not only do the Illuminati want my mind, soul and body, they’ve slowly taken over nearly every downtown venue and turned Hip Hop into a human battery caught in the matrix - bled dry so the machines can convince us everything’s ok. What we have here is now the very opposite of Hip Hop - do you think that Kool Herc and Afrika Bambataa developed the blueprint in shiny clubs where pigs from the “Integrated Gang Task Force” roll in practically on cue? Fuck that. Hip Hop Culture was born and grew up in basements, rec rooms, community halls, parks, gymnasiums and warehouses, and most of all... on the corner. The only consolation is that these fools will ultimately fail, and soon, because honestly who the fuck are these people that can afford to drop fifty bucks a night for a local underground show?

our money, and not even providing us with a good time. Peace, Love, Unity, and Fun Without Violence, remember? Or did you ever really know it in the first place? All this time, and still Hip Hop is an imported culture here, like Reggae music or Dubstep. Imported without connection to its roots, and therefore merely a mimicry or derivation of the original.

Case in point. No names to protect the innocent, but the other day old Corvid rolled downtown with the crew to support one of our own, rocking a set that night at a downtown Hip Hop weekly. After driving in circles for way too long trying to find the place (it ain’t easy...), we rolled up to the door about six deep. Cordoned off with crushed velvet ropes and oozing neon and shitty top forty Rap and Bullshit, the place was the very picture of bourgeois Vancity vanity, all flash and no soul. The three hundred pound doorman was clearly too busy chatting with the coatcheck girl to pay us any heed, so we chilled on some nicotine for a full ten minutes. My man was getting antsy in anticipation, and wanted to get his beats cd to the DJ so, against our advice he unsnapped one of the ropes and headed for the door. As if on cue, Jabba was on him, bellowing at him to “get your fucking ass back there or I’ll fucking beat the shit out of you!”. No shit. I made some comment (sarcastically) that this was the reason the club was so packed. Next comes the promoter, who on seeing our dirty half dozen felt he had to project his own failure on our man, with a “I thought you were gonna sell a lot of tickets!”. This at 10:30, and yes more were coming. It all brought to mind the time last year when the pricks at Gossip demanded that DJ Muggs provide ID at the door for his own show. DJ motherfucking Muggs! When they told him he had to check his hat, he quickly responded with “I’m getting the fuck out of here! Do You know who the fuck I am?”. The whole situation was quickly defused by the promoter, while Supernatural stood in amazed silence.

In the words of Immortal Technique, “just because you put on a show, or host a battle, that don’t make you important at all! It’s because of me, and everyone like me, that you do what you do, so shut the fuck up and stay in your place!”. Why the hell are we, as artists, begging for fifteen minute sets that we have to hustle tickets for or we pay to play? Because someone is making money, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that it’s never going to lead to good music. Just ask anyone who’s not a Hip Hop fan, let alone someone from out of town - who’s good/famous/ the next thing in Vancouver Hip Hop? Unless they say Swollen Members, or Moka Only (God save us...), they don’t know, don’t care, and wish it would all just go away. Why? Because fans haven’t demanded a high standard of music and the music is therefore not universal to a wider audience, and those that do blow up have a limited local appeal that will probably never expand to a larger market like Toronto.

Which is not to say that there are not hundreds here who live Hip Hop, and have the necessary talent, skill, dedication and over-standing to build a real movement outside of the clubs and venues of Babylon. If you don’t know, I’m not telling you, ‘cause I don’t want to attract hipsters, but suffice to say that we are coming for you! From the basements, community centers, galleries, coffee-shops, tunnels and grimy warehouses of East Van we are absorbing the vibrations of the overground and flipping them, preparing for a movement that cuts through the crap like lasers through cataracts.

Given time, the Vancouver pressure cooker will turn coal into diamonds, hidden gems will shine and the tree of life will bear fruit. But first, we need to prune the dead branches and cut out the deadrot. Marcus Garvey said, “when all else fails to mobilize the people, conditions will”, and who knows what visionary Hip Hop styles will be inspired by post-Apocalympic Vancouver, when the last shall be first and the first shall be last?

What I’m saying is this. It is time for anyone in this pathetic fucked up city who lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, shits, fucks and fights for Hip Hop to call bullshit on this whole Hold your head son, hold your head. scene. It’s time to demand more from promoters who are mocking our culture, taking Peace, Corvid.

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ABORT Magazine’s Grimm Culhane and Skinny Puppy’s lead singer Ogre share a beer and reminisce about the band’s 26 years of electro-industrial existence. Discussing everything from early shows to their latest marketing strategies, from Syd Barrett to the SPV Records insolvency, the boys even find time to share a laugh amidst the ongoing struggle of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. Ogre of Skinny Puppy

Grimm: Alright, this is Grimm Culhane for ABORT Magazine. We’re here once again with Ogre…

Ogre: Yep ABORT: Of Skinny Puppy…

Ogre: Yes. ABORT: Good seeing you again.

Ogre: You too. ABORT: Its been a while since we last talked.

Grimm and Ogre of Skinny Puppy

Ogre: A year. Almost a year to the day. ABORT: That long ago? Wow. How have you been? You look great.

Ogre: I’m doing very good, yeah. ABORT: Busy?

Ogre: Yeah, busy. I did another film in the

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last year since I talked to you. I did a movie called 2001 Maniacs – Field of Screams. Its the sequel to the remake of the Herschell B Gordon Lewis movie Two Thousand Maniacs! ABORT: And who’s directing that?

Ogre: Tim Sullivan, who did the remake with Eli Roth, did the original with Robert Englund. In the sequel Robert doesn’t return, but Bill Moseley plays Mayor Buckman. ABORT: You work a lot with Bill Moseley seems to me, besides your work with ohGr and the film work.

Ogre: Well, we became friends. We go hiking together. ABORT: He seems like a really nice guy, well rounded, educated and smart.

Ogre: Really well educated person, extremely intelligent and also very down to earth and a pleasure to be around. He gave me so many amazing tips and support and within the 2001 Maniacs – Field of Screams there’s a real kind of camaraderie there that shows in a lot of ways. It was my first role where I was actually doing dialogue and so he was very helpful just from a comfort level. So yeah, we see each other about once a month. ABORT: Now we’ve got to talk about Skinny Puppy. You’re on tour right now, In Solvent See. Does that have anything to do with the record label?

Ogre: (chuckles) Yeah it does actually. I mean its intertwined and we’re trying to make the best of it, but SPV went into insolvency right towards the end of our recording cycle with them and so we were left in a place of turning in a record to what should have been a reunited and stronger label by August. What happened instead is they went into insolvency. The insolvency court took over and they’re trying to basically sell the label to Sony and in the mean time it left us between a rock and a hard place. Basically all bills before the insolvency are not being paid and everything after the insolvency is business as usual and business as usual means it was supposed to be resolved August 2nd and its gone on till now and there’s no resolve. We were left in a place where we

either turn in the album we were working on, deliver it to the void, or try something else. We tried a number of different things to accommodate the whole situation. One was we were going to turn in a pseudo Metal Machine record and we actually finished that, but there was some disagreement between all of us as to even turning that in as a Skinny Puppy product, so it’s become an ohGr album only because we had started moving in this direction of working on a noise record and we had 4 days of very creative, incredible time in the studio with Mark (Walk), my co-writer. We ended up with a record that just didn’t work out with the scope of the band, so we took it as an ohGr record. At that point we recognized that the whole insolvency issue was going to take a long time and so we decided that instead of focusing on a new album release we’d work on a single and do a tour that was more… not necessarily retrospective, because its actually turned out to be a very intense, odd sort of combination of all of our music along with some very strange theatrics. In a sense we’re embracing the while idea of the antiquated music system, the antiquated ideals in America and our own decrepitude in the sense that we’ve been around for 26 years. We’re approaching it that way and we’re going to release a single based on the idea of insolvency. We’re going to put up stock certificates which range from 20 dollars to $2.4 million (laughs). The idea being that you choose whatever you want, what you want to buy in at, and the idea of our company, Insolvency Inc., is that you will invest in us, we will take your money and spend it and you’ll never lose less than zero. Both: (Laugh)

Ogre: And so we’re going to sell these stock certificates from 20 dollars to $2.4 million. We’ve given away the $2.4 million to Litany ( which is a fan built website, which is basically “our” website. We’ve given Corey, the moderator, $2.4 million which allows him to dictate what the band does. Then it goes from $100 Thousand down to $20 down to free. When you click on each certificate it’s the certificate you’re buying, but you get a free download of the song as well. That enables us to circumvent the label system, because we’re not selling music per se that we’re under contract to produce, we’re selling a certificate.

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ABORT: This sounds very similar to what Public Enemy have done with their most recent efforts, asking their fans to pony up and help produce the album. Is it similar to that?

Ogre: It’s a one off thing we’re doing until we get all this sorted out and figure out where we stand with the label because right now we’ve asked for a lot of information we’re just not getting. If we self release something right now we could be sued and its happened to us before in the past. It happened to me with ohGr when I left American Recordings. We’re looking for unique ways of marketing. Times being what they are, the “In Solvent See” Tour is based on a song off our first album Remission titled Solvent. To me solvents dissolve things, they take things away and in a sense the insolvency is kind of prophecy into this mixture of whatever esoteric mumbo-jumbo that’s in the economy to like coalesce and then separate and reveal a new model that’s not based on some German physicist who’s absolutely mad and who’s theories have been proven wrong back in the last century. Both: (Laugh)

Ogre: Basically what our modern, neo-classical economic system is based off of is the idea that “it will always replenish itself.” We’ve always been a band that’s gone between the lines in a lot of ways and we’re just looking at novel ways to market music… and its fun! It’s totally fun. Its trying to take a horrible situation and find something good within it, because right now, in a sense, we are stuck without a label. But we still have a strong following. ABORT: Yes! Wow! I was looking online, did a simple search on Skinny Puppy and there are tons of fanatic fan bases out there.

Ogre: (Laughs) ABORT: Like “101 reasons why you should love no other band than Skinny Puppy,” and these people are serious.

Ogre: Well that’s a bit perverse isn’t it? (laughs) Sometimes I think its out of sheer persistence and longevity. Its like that old guy

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By: Scott Alexander

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Dir en Grey ar their homel


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re nothing less than a Japanese marvel, who have been revolutionizing the perception of “J-Rock” in land and beyond, for more than a decade. Speaking of genre, they are the most difficult band to define and while they are ready to embark on a new North American tour, guitarist Kaoru was ind enough to chat with ABORT’s Arceon, to discuss their style, past, present and future endeavours and of course, their new brand new DVD “Average Blasphemy”.

dely known that as a band Dir en grey tually no time and over the course of the style a number of times, retaining ow do you manage to do that? How do rection?

I think that will not change. With “Glass Skin” we implemented a lot of our older styles so many people would relate to it as they did with our older songs. But I think that if people try to really listen to it, they will realize that not much has changed about us.

it’s just all by playing a lot of concerts, ng a lot. We take in everything that we tmosphere of the shows, the response g everything that gets thrown our way. deliberately tried to change our style. hen we make albums, we never have a style in mind. We choose to go with e what comes out of the process. It is e are in the middle of doing something what we want to do.

ABORT: Will you ever return to visual kei?

ave conquered North America before g in English at all, why make English ass Skin” and “Dozing Green” on Uroe they been originally written in Eng-

ngs were originally written in Japanese, hought it might be interesting if we try h English lyrics.

ing of “Glass Skin”, your attire, behavvideos in general had a totally different o. What happened? Has the perception changed?

will always be people who prefer the e and those who like us as we are now.

Kaoru: No, but to tell you the truth we have never thought that we were a visual-kei band. I mean, back then you wouldn’t say “Yes, let’s start a visual-kei” band. There was no such branding. But at the same time, we never know what we might want to embark upon in the future, so who knows. ABORT: How did you get an idea of making a DVD and why at this particular time? What will we see on Average Blasphemy? Kaoru: There are a selection of music videos from songs that were in “Marrow Of A Bone” and “Uroboros.” We also have a new full length version of “VINUSHKA,” a new take of “RED SOIL.” We also included a digest of some live clips that were originally only available in Japan for our Fanclub members. ABORT: You’ve been labeled nu-metal and even metalcore before, but j-rock is still largely a mystery on North American market. Would you characterize Dir en Grey as adventists of j-rock here?   Kaoru:  We do not have a preference when it comes to genre, it’s up to people to decide on what we are but we do not think that we are the Adventist of j-rock. 

Plus we don’t see ourselves as being the leading force in this scene in America.  In fact we feel that we still have a very long road ahead of us before we actually get somewhere.   ABORT: Dir en grey is touring like there’s no tomorrow. Are you planning on making a new album any time soon or are you taking a break?   Kaoru:  We have started working on new songs and will be releasing a single this December.  We will also be writing more songs when we return to Japan after this tour.  We will definitely be touring again next year. ABORT: What’s the craziest show outside Japan that you ever had?   Kaoru:  Right now I can say our first time in Chile was wild.  The fans were amazing and I think we were as excited as they were about the show.  Seeing the amount of people who came out to the show was pretty mind-blowing. A: Is there a chance to see gore, and censor hell in your videos and shows again?   Kaoru:  Hopefully there is, as long as we are not restricted by the rules put out by the censorship board.  (laughs) It really all depends on the songs we make, on the messages and how we feel like presenting it.  We always try to express our songs as direct as possible.

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